THREAD is wonderful!

POSTED: 3 May 2024

At the end of April, the European Commission invited young and old to its annual science fair Science is Wonderful! at Brussels. This year, the THREAD team from the University of Liège was selected to present its work on highly flexible structures at a booth entitled Discover the science of extremely flexible structures!

On the left hand side, we see a cable-driven soft robot. Children could steer the robot themselves, by picking up a ping-pong ball and placing it in a basket! They could learn the importance of cables and slender structures that drive the soft robots, and that their modelling plays a crucial role in studying such robots.

On the right hand side, a 3D printed braiding machine of 6 carriers was presented that addressed THREAD's applications in textile engineering. Children could mechanically actuate the braiding machine themselves, and they could observe the carrier motions, the accumulation of yarns at braiding point, and the final braid structure. They also studied that any errors in the machine such as yarn tensions, or the take-up velocity of braid resulted in a substandard and unacceptable braid being formed.

For a slightly mature audience, THREAD's numerical simulations were demonstrated, and how it is difficult to model flexible slender structures and to master numerical difficulties.

Two great days in Brussels illustrating again: THREAD is wonderful!

based on material that was provided by Indrajeet Patil (ESR2)