Department of Engineering
David Hardman received his BA & MEng degrees in mechanics & materials engineering from the University of Cambridge in 2020. He is now in his 3rd year of PhD research in the University’s Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Fumiya Iida. Here he investigates the implementation of unconventional soft materials in robotic systems, with a particular interest in medical applications.
For general-purpose robots to match our dexterity and perform difficult physical tasks, we must know exactly how they interact with physical objects. This involves replicating the intricacies and dynamics of the human hand, as well as the properties of our skins which control these interactions. Human skin provides flexibility, compliance, pressure sensing, temperature sensing, and stimulus localisation whilst also being able to detect and heal damages. Working at the intersection of cutting-edge robotics and materials science, David aims to develop ‘e-skins’ which combine all of these properties, enabling robots to sense, perform, and recover from complex and dangerous tasks. He was also part of the SHERO project for self-healing soft robotics.
Other 2023 award winners
Mohammed Ibraheem Ahmed