Our work in the area began with Magnetorheological elastomers (MREs), a novel class of smart materials comprised of magnetic particles in a non-magnetic rubbery matrix. MREs are able to change their apparent shear stiffness and exhibit some magnetostriction under the influence of magnetic fields, which has many controls applications. Traditional MREs, however, use soft magnetic filler powders. Our work examines the use of novel hard-magnetic filler particles as well as soft magnetic fillers to create composites in four classifications, seen at left. The aligned-anisotropic materials present with actuation capabilities fundamentally different from previous MREs, hence the new term "magneto-active". Our materials provide fully reversible large deformation behavior of which traditional MREs are incapable. Read more here.