The goal of this research is to characterize the force interactions of a basilisk lizard exhibiting its unique ability to run across a body of water. A rigid testing structure is being fabricated from carbon fiber and aluminum, with six-axis force sensors attached at three statically determined points. The structure will be immersed in water, at which point a lizard will run across. Control surface integration can then be used to fully characterize the forces over time. It is recommended that future research explore the application of this data to bio-inspired robots to enable them to similarly “run” across water.
The research goal is to characterize the material properties of shape memory polymers (SMPs) as they are repeatedly broken down and recycled. SMPs have medical and military applications, and can be rapidly prototyped using 3D printing, which results in relatively large quantities of thermoplastic waste. If this research can prove that recycled SMPs sufficiently retain their critical properties, it will increase recycling in the growing field of 3D printing, thus reducing carbon footprint and energy usage. It is recommended that future research characterize additional material types in order to further expand the use of recycled thermoplastics for 3D-printed SMPs.