Combining compliant electrode arrays in open-mesh constructs with hydrogels yields a class of soft actuator, capable of complex, programmable changes in shape. The results include materials strategies, integration approaches, and mechanical/thermal analysis of heater meshes embedded in thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAM) hydrogels with forms ranging from 2D sheets to 3D hemispherical shells.
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