Programmable meta-materials

During my final bachelor project (FBP) I investigated the possibility to create interactive meta-materials through the use of bi-stability. Meta-materials are material structures that get their properties from their internal structure instead of material properties. This is made possible by advancements in additive manufacturing technologies (Zadpoor, 2016). The result of my FBP research project is a proposal, in paper form, for a modular system of bi-stable metamaterials that can perform continuous computation by switching bi-stable elements between their two stable states. To demonstrate the continuous nature of this system, I made a 2-bit binary adder that only requires one input to perform a continuous operation. Every time a cycle, changing the Input from OFF to ON and back to OFF, is completed the stored number in the bits will have gone up by one.

In the past semester, I have gone through many iterations of the elements that form the basis for the system and how they should be designed in order to be able to perform calculations. The most important parts of this process are described in the paper that forms the body of this report. This should give an adequate overview of the types of activities that were done and how they contributed to the final result.

My FBP was done in the Adaptive Mobility squid with Lightyear as a client. Lightyear, who makes a commercial solar car is interested in keeping all the components in the vehicle as light as possible. The project I choose to work on was to apply meta-materials for the design of a car seat. Based on a literature review and consulting a professor active in the field I decided to take my FBP into the direction of creating an interactive programmable system out of bi-stable metamaterials that could one day be used to facilitate shape change is a meta-material car seat.


Zadpoor, A. A. (2016). Mechanical meta-materials. Materials Horizons, 3(5), 371–381.