New Tool To Automatically Design Soft Robot That Can Bend And Twist

Posted: Dec 20 2016, 8:36am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

New Tool to Automatically Design Soft Robot That can Bend and Twist
Harvard researchers developed a model to design a soft robot that bends like an index finger and twists like a thumb when powered by a single pressure source. Credit: Harvard SEAS
  • New Research Reveals Soft Robots can Move Organically
 

New tools can design robots that can move organically by bending and twisting like finger. The researchers have developed a technique that can create soft robots with desired movements.

New tools can design robots that can move organically by bending and twisting like finger.  The researchers have developed a technique that can create soft robots with desired movements.The method is developed by researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

The research study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Instead of designing the soft robots, the scientists wanted to create a tool where you could put a motion to create your desired robot, explained by Katia Bertoldi, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences, who is also coauthor of the paper.

Though, it looks easy to design a robot that can easily bend like human finger and knee, but developing motions is very difficult. You can’t create motion with just one actuator, stated Fionnuala Connolly, a graduate student at SEAS, who is also the first author of the paper.  A series of actuators is required with a variety of movements you want to incorporate in robot.

The team used mathematical modeling of fluid-powered, fiber-reinforced actuators to develop the design. The team could make soft robot with this model, a robot that could move like index finger and thumb. Power was required to provide pressure for soft movements in robots.

The model could also help scientists in designing a robot that could have complex movements, said Conor Walsh, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and coauthor of the paper. He also said that same model can help create robot arm that can move in a certain direction.

This new discovery will help in soft robotic toolkit at SEAS to help educators, researchers and innovators to develop model, fabrication, characterize and controlself-created robot that moves.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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