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  1. Abstract

    Cutaneous muscles drive the texture‐modulation behavior of cephalopods by protruding several millimeters out of the skin. Inspired by cephalopods, a self‐morphing, stretchable smart skin containing embedded‐printed electrodes and actuated by Twisted Spiral Artificial Muscles (TSAMs) is proposed. Electrothermally actuated TSAMs are manufactured from inexpensive polymer fibers to mimic the papillae muscles of cephalopods. These spirals can produce strains of nearly 2000% using a voltage of only 0.02 V mm−1. Stretchable and low‐resistance liquid metal electrodes are embedded‐printed inside the self‐morphing skin to facilitate the electrothermal actuation of TSAMs. Theoretical and numerical models are proposed to describe the embedded printing of low‐viscosity Newtonian liquid metals as conductive electrodes in a soft elastomeric substrate. Experimental mechanical tests are performed to demonstrate the robustness and electrical stability of the electrodes. Two smart skin prototypes are fabricated to highlight the capabilities of the proposed self‐morphing system, including a texture‐modulating wearable soft glove and a waterproof skin that emulates the texture‐modulation behavior of octopi underwater. The proposed self‐morphing stretchable smart skin can find use in a wide range of applications, such as refreshable Braille displays, haptic feedback devices, turbulence tripping, and antifouling devices for underwater vehicles.

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  2. Abstract An additive manufacturing-enabled bi-continuous piezocomposite architecture is presented to achieve mechanical flexibility and piezoelectricity simultaneously in piezoelectric materials. This architecture comprises an active ferroelectric ceramic phase and a passive flexible polymer phase, which are separated by a tailorable phase interface. Triply periodic minimal surfaces were used to define the phase interface, due to their excellent elastic properties and load transfer efficiency. A suspension-enclosing projection-stereolithography process was used to additively manufacture this material. Postprocesses including polymer infiltration, electroding, and poling are introduced. Piezoelectric properties of the piezocomposites are numerically and experimentally studied. The results highlight the role of tailorable triply periodic phase interfaces in promoting mechanical flexibility and piezoelectricity of bi-continuous piezocomposites. 
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