Non-reciprocal transmission of motion is potentially highly beneficial to a wide range of applications, ranging from wave guiding to shock and vibration damping and energy harvesting. To date, large levels of non-reciprocity have been realized using broken spatial or temporal symmetries, yet mostly in the vicinity of resonances, bandgaps or using nonlinearities, thereby non-reciprocal transmission remains limited to narrow ranges of frequencies or input magnitudes and sensitive to attenuation. Here, we create a robotic mechanical metamaterials wherein we use local control loops to break reciprocity at the level of the interactions between the unit cells. We show theoretically and experimentally that first-of-their-kind spatially asymmetric standing waves at all frequencies and unidirectionally amplified propagating waves emerge. These findings realize the mechanical analogue of the non-Hermitian skin effect. They significantly advance the field of active metamaterials for non hermitian physics and open avenues to channel mechanical energy in unprecedented ways.
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