skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Goldman, Daniel I."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. This review focuses on how the modeling of dense granular media has advanced over the last 15 years. The jumping-off point of our review is the μ( I) rheology for dry granular flow, which opened the door to generic flow field modeling but was primarily geared toward problems involving small monodisperse grains of simple shapes. Our review focuses on advances in modeling more material types and behaviors including new approaches for modeling finite-grain-size effects or nonlocality, polydispersity and unmixing, and nontrivial grain shapes. We also discuss growing application areas with tractable order-reduction strategies with a focus on intrusion and locomotion problems.

     
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 19, 2025
  2. We offer our opinion on the benefits of integration of insights from active matter physics with principles of regulatory interactions and control to develop a field we term “smart active matter”. This field can provide insight into important principles in living systems as well as aid engineering of responsive, robust and functional collectives. 
    more » « less
  3. Contact planning is crucial to the locomotion performance of robots: to properly self-propel forward, it is not only important to determine the sequence of internal shape changes (e.g., body bending and limb shoulder joint oscillation) but also the sequence by which contact is made and broken between the mechanism and its environment. Prior work observed that properly coupling contact patterns and shape changes allows for computationally tractable gait design and efficient gait performance. The state of the art, however, made assumptions, albeit motivated by biological observation, as to how contact and shape changes can be coupled. In this paper, we extend the geometric mechanics (GM) framework to design contact patterns. Specifically, we introduce the concept of “contact space” to the GM framework. By establishing the connection between velocities in shape and position spaces, we can estimate the benefits of each contact pattern change and therefore optimize the sequence of contact patterns. In doing so, we can also analyze how a contact pattern sequence will respond to perturbations. We apply our framework to sidewinding robots and enable (1) effective locomotion direction control and (2) robust locomotion performance as the spatial resolution decreases. We also apply our framework to a hexapod robot with two back-bending joints and show that we can simplify existing hexapod gaits by properly reducing the number of contact state switches (during a gait cycle) without significant loss of locomotion speed. We test our designed gaits with robophysical experiments, and we obtain good agreement between theory and experiments. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 11, 2024
  4. Recent studies in polymer physics have created macro-scale analogs to solute microscopic polymer chains like DNA by inducing diffusive motion on a chain of beads. These bead chains have persistence lengths of O(10) links and undergo diffusive motion under random fluctuations like vibration. We present a bead chain model within a new stochastic forcing system: an air fluidizing bed of granular media. A chain of spherical 6 mm resin beads crimped onto silk thread are buffeted randomly by the multiphase flow of grains and low density rising air “bubbles”. We “thermalize” bead chains of various lengths at different fluidizing airflow rates, while X-ray imaging captures a projection of the chains’ dynamics within the media. With modern 3D printing techniques, we can better represent complex polymers by geometrically varying bead connections and their relative strength, e.g., mimicking the variable stiffness between adjacent nucleotide pairs of DNA. We also develop Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations to study the 3D motion of the bead chain, where the bead chain is represented by simulated spherical particles connected by linear and angular spring-like bonds. In experiment, we find that the velocity distributions of the beads follow exponential distributions rather than the Gaussian distributions expected from polymers in solution. Through use of the DEM simulation, we find that this difference can likely be attributed to the distributions of the forces imparted onto the chain from the fluidized bed environment. We anticipate expanding this study in the future to explore a wide range of chain composition and confinement geometry, which will provide insights into the physics of large biopolymers. 
    more » « less
  5. Information theory is used to design robots with guaranteed arrival over noisy terrain. 
    more » « less
  6. Soft materials often display complex behaviors that transition through apparent solid- and fluid-like regimes. While a growing number of microscale simulation methods exist for these materials, reduced-order models that encapsulate the macroscale physics are often desired to predict how external bodies interact with soft media. Such an approach could provide direct insights in diverse situations from impact and penetration problems to locomotion over natural terrains. This work proposes a systematic program to develop three-dimensional (3D) reduced-order models for soft materials from a fundamental basis using continuum symmetries and rheological principles. In particular, we derive a reduced-order, 3D resistive force theory (3D-RFT), which is capable of accurately and quickly predicting the resistive stress distribution on arbitrary-shaped bodies intruding through granular media. Aided by a continuum description of the granular medium, a comprehensive set of spatial symmetry constraints, and a limited amount of reference data, we develop a self-consistent and accurate 3D-RFT. We verify the model capabilities in a wide range of cases and show that it can be quickly recalibrated to different media and intruder surface types. The premises leading to 3D-RFT anticipate application to other soft materials with strongly hyperlocalized intrusion behavior. 
    more » « less
  7. The design of amorphous entangled systems, specifically from soft and active materials, has the potential to open exciting new classes of active, shape-shifting, and task-capable ‘smart’ materials. However, the global emergent mechanics that arise from the local interactions of individual particles are not well understood. In this study, we examine the emergent properties of amorphous entangled systems in an in silico collection of u-shaped particles (“smarticles”) and in living entangled aggregate of worm blobs ( L. variegatus ). In simulations, we examine how material properties change for a collective composed of smarticles as they undergo different forcing protocols. We compare three methods of controlling entanglement in the collective: external oscillations of the ensemble, sudden shape-changes of all individuals, and sustained internal oscillations of all individuals. We find that large-amplitude changes of the particle's shape using the shape-change procedure produce the largest average number of entanglements, with respect to the aspect ratio ( l / w ), thus improving the tensile strength of the collective. We demonstrate applications of these simulations by showing how the individual worm activity in a blob can be controlled through the ambient dissolved oxygen in water, leading to complex emergent properties of the living entangled collective, such as solid-like entanglement and tumbling. Our work reveals principles by which future shape-modulating, potentially soft robotic systems may dynamically alter their material properties, advancing our understanding of living entangled materials, while inspiring new classes of synthetic emergent super-materials. 
    more » « less
  8. ABSTRACT Centipedes coordinate body and limb flexion to generate propulsion. On flat, solid surfaces, the limb-stepping patterns can be characterized according to the direction in which limb-aggregates propagate, opposite to (retrograde) or with the direction of motion (direct). It is unknown how limb and body dynamics are modified in terrain with terradynamic complexity more representative of these animal's natural heterogeneous environments. Here, we investigated how centipedes that use retrograde and direct limb-stepping patterns, Scolopendra polymorpha and Scolopocryptops sexspinosus, respectively, coordinate their body and limbs to navigate laboratory environments which present footstep challenges and terrain rugosity. We recorded the kinematics and measured the locomotive performance of these animals traversing two rugose terrains with randomly distributed step heights and compared the kinematics with those on a flat frictional surface. Scolopendra polymorpha exhibited similar body and limb dynamics across all terrains and a decrease in speed with increased terrain rugosity. Unexpectedly, when placed in a rugose terrain, S. sexspinosus changed the direction of the limb-stepping pattern from direct to retrograde. Further, for both species, traversal of these rugose terrains was facilitated by hypothesized passive mechanics: upon horizontal collision of a limb with a block, the limb bent and later continued the stepping pattern. Although centipedes have many degrees of freedom, our results suggest these animals negotiate limb–substrate interactions and navigate complex terrains leveraging the innate flexibility of their limbs to simplify control. 
    more » « less
  9. Ants are millimetres in scale yet collectively create metre-scale nests in diverse substrates. To discover principles by which ant collectives self-organize to excavate crowded, narrow tunnels, we studied incipient excavation in small groups of fire ants in quasi-two-dimensional arenas. Excavation rates displayed three stages: initially excavation occurred at a constant rate, followed by a rapid decay, and finally a slower decay scaling in time as t −1/2 . We used a cellular automata model to understand such scaling and motivate how rate modulation emerges without global control. In the model, ants estimated their collision frequency with other ants, but otherwise did not communicate. To capture early excavation rates, we introduced the concept of ‘agitation’—a tendency of individuals to avoid rest if collisions are frequent. The model reproduced the observed multi-stage excavation dynamics; analysis revealed how parameters affected features of multi-stage progression. Moreover, a scaling argument without ant–ant interactions captures tunnel growth power-law at long times. Our study demonstrates how individual ants may use local collisional cues to achieve functional global self-organization. Such contact-based decisions could be leveraged by other living and non-living collectives to perform tasks in confined and crowded environments. 
    more » « less
  10. Locomotion is typically studied either in continuous media where bodies and legs experience forces generated by the flowing medium or on solid substrates dominated by friction. In the former, centralized whole-body coordination is believed to facilitate appropriate slipping through the medium for propulsion. In the latter, slip is often assumed minimal and thus avoided via decentralized control schemes. We find in laboratory experiments that terrestrial locomotion of a meter-scale multisegmented/legged robophysical model resembles undulatory fluid swimming. Experiments varying waves of leg stepping and body bending reveal how these parameters result in effective terrestrial locomotion despite seemingly ineffective isotropic frictional contacts. Dissipation dominates over inertial effects in this macroscopic-scaled regime, resulting in essentially geometric locomotion on land akin to microscopic-scale swimming in fluids. Theoretical analysis demonstrates that the high-dimensional multisegmented/legged dynamics can be simplified to a centralized low-dimensional model, which reveals an effective resistive force theory with an acquired viscous drag anisotropy. We extend our low-dimensional, geometric analysis to illustrate how body undulation can aid performance in non–flat obstacle-rich terrains and also use the scheme to quantitatively model how body undulation affects performance of biological centipede locomotion (the desert centipede Scolopendra polymorpha ) moving at relatively high speeds (∼0.5 body lengths/sec). Our results could facilitate control of multilegged robots in complex terradynamic scenarios. 
    more » « less