Internship: Design Exploration of Reversible Bio-Based Inflating Mechanisms
Inflation is a powerful way to actuate shape-changes of flat surfaces [1, 2]. However, the common actuation mechanism needs external air pumps and valves, which take extra space and prevent the interfaces from being mobile. A chemically actuated inflation method was proposed  to overcome this problem, but it is not reversible, and the inflated object cannot go back to the initial flat state.
In this research project, we explore bio-based inflating mechanisms that allow the inflated object to go back to the initial state. Bacteria such as algae and yeast create a certain amount of air during their proliferation. We can adjust the amount of air created by the bacteria by adjusting their environment, and control the inflation of an object. We envision that it will be a sustainable way to implement shape-changing objects, such as wearable hat or window blinds.
What is the optimal way to use bacteria to implement inflating objects? The research focuses on exploring bacteria, gene editing (if needed), making the environment to maximize and minimize the bacteria’s air emission, and the applications of the objects.
Required Skills and Experiences
- Fast prototyping skill
- Independent working skill
- Communication skills – the intern need to be able to communicate their problems and ideas in time
- Experience in biology, ideally in cultivating, gene editing, participating at iGEM.
Objective of the Internship
During the internship, the student is expected to:
- Review related work in biology and human-computer interaction fields,
- Build comparable prototypes made of different, controlled bacteria’ environments,
- Suggest applications for the prototypes,
- Design an experiment assessing the prototypes,
- Execute the experiment,
- Analyze the results of the experiment,
- Write and defend her/his thesis.
For all these steps, previous work, material and experience from both supervisors will help to get a start and improve the student’s work.
Please send your CV and academic transcript to email@example.com. We will restart reviewing the applications mid-December, and you can apply until the position is filled.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
 Yao, Lining, et al. "PneUI: pneumatically actuated soft composite materials for shape changing interfaces." Proceedings of the 26th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology. ACM, 2013. Video, Paper.
 Ou, Jifei, et al. "aeroMorph-heat-sealing inflatable shape-change materials for interaction design." Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. ACM, 2016. Video, Paper.
 Chemical Inflation for Assisted Assembly, Penelope Eugenia Webb, Paper.
Ce travail s'effectuera dans le cadre du projet PhyFlex.