LMTS: Soft Transducers Lab (Prof. H. Shea)

three projects from EPFL-LMTS on stretchable actuators

Introduction to the LMTS

We develop reliable soft stretchable compliant sensors, actuators and transducers. Our research cuts across different MEMS and miniaturized actuator technologies, with a primary focus on elastomer-based solutions and multi-functional stretchable materials. We are part of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering.

Our core research areas are:

  • Miniaturized polymer actuators and soft transducers for a broad range of applications including soft robotics, dextrous manipulation, microfluidics and tunable optics. 
  • Wearable Haptic displays for VR/AR applications and for visually impaired users, allowing dynamic graphical information such as maps or virtual 3D shapes to be explored using one’s sense of touch.
  • MEMS and Printed Microsystems. (Dr. D. Briand, MER) Environmentally-friendly and sustainable MEMS processes and materials. Flexible, printed electronics and microsystems. Digital and additive manufacturing.



6-2021. OmniGrasp wins the EuroEAP Society Industry challenge! congrats to Vito & Valentin!
5-2021 Our Test bench for automated lifetime studies of DEAs published in Smart Materials and Structures
10-2020 Untethered Feel-through haptics based on 18µm thick DEAs published in Advanced Functional Materials.
printed pump, all soft materials 9-2020 Inkjet Printing of Complex Soft Machines in Advanced Intelligent Systems
7-2020. HAXELs are soft and powerful haptic actuators published in Advanced Materials
5-2020. Reconfigurable morphing surface using DEA + SMP appears in Advanced Functional Materials.
1-2020. High force textile electrostatic clutch published in Advanced Materials Technologies.
12-2019: Science Robotics article published on our soft robotic insect. some movies! EPFL press release
11-2019 new movies for our soft gripper
10-2019 Nature Communications Article on a highly sensitive InfraRed detector based on Shape Memory Polymers (with prof. G. Villanueva)
8- 2019 We  developed a thin stretchable pump, that can be twisted, bent, stretched, while pushing liquid along the channel. Gram for gram, our pump performs as well as an aquarium pump or a workshop compressor, but is completely silent, and has no moving parts. published in the journal Nature in August 2019. Details and movies here.

Contact info:

Mailing address:

rue de la Maladière 71b, CP 526
CH-2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Head of Lab: Prof. Herbert Shea, Phone +41 21 693 6663

Secretary: Mrs Myriam Poliero Phone: +41 21 695 4436

How to find us: Our lab is part of the Neuchatel campus of the EPFL-IMT. 15 minute walk from the Neuchatel train station.