Active matter and collective effects

Swimmers, Walkers, Surfers…

Active Matter is composed of units, which harvest (and dissipate) energy from (and in) the surrounding to produce some work. Familiar examples are living animals, which perform some motion, consuming food, but one can also think of artificial systems. We have developed a number of such systems, such as swimming droplets, walking grains, self-propelled colloids and explore their collective dynamics, both in liquid and solid phases.

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Swarm robotics

A swarm of robots is, from our point of view, a specific type of active matter, the units of which have sensing, memory, and computational abilities. We explore how the cross-fertilization of the emergent properties of active matter and the learning abilities of robots can lead swarms of robots to perform yet unanticipated new families of tasks.

Path memory dynamics of walking drops

Waves and particles are distinct objects at a macroscopic scale. The existence of walkers, drops bouncing on a vertically vibrated fluid bath is a original case of dual objects at our scale. The drop is self-propelled, piloted by the standing surface waves generated by its previous rebounds. Therefore, the wave stores information about the systems past. We leverage the properties resulting from this original information storage to design new self-organization principles that were previsouly thought to be peculiar to the sole quantum world.

Coupling between active and passive materials

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