Controlled friction surfaces

Loading Physical Intelligence Department


The methodology proposed in this study would allow us to actively control frictional forces of fibrillar structures in any planar direction. Active control of friction would enable pick-and-place type of robotic manipulation and transfer printing systems for flexible electronics and miniature electronic, optical, and mechanical device assembly and packaging. It would also enable advanced snake, gecko or other biologically inspired crawling and climbing robots, which could traverse various surfaces and terrain by active friction control for search and rescue, exploration, inspection, and field robotics applications.


Project Members:

Hamid Marvi

Selected Research Results and Papers

Actively Controlled Fibrillar Friction Surfaces

We propose a technique by which we can actively adjust frictional properties of elastic fibrillar structures in different directions. Using a mesh attached to a two degree-of-freedom linear stage, we controlled the active length and tilt angle of fibers independently. Thus, we were able to achieve desired levels of friction forces in different directions and significantly improve passive friction anisotropies observed in the same fiber arrays. The proposed technique would allow us to control the frictional anisotropy and the friction magnitude of fibrillar structures in any planar direction.

H. Marvi*, Y. Han*, M. Sitti, “Actively Controlled Fibrillar Friction Surfaces,” Applied Physics Letters, 2015.

List of Publications

Actively Controlled Fibrillar Friction Surfaces

H. Marvi*, Y. Han*, M. Sitti

Applied Physics Letters, 2015.



Funding Agency

National Science Foundation