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Soft Robots

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The toggle gripper holds a screwdriver.

A soft touch

Pneumatic digital logic eliminates the last hard components from robots

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An external magnet can be used to control the orientation of the screw head in the maglev device. “What we’ve demonstrated in this paper is a noncontact method for manipulating objects,” said Anand Bala Subramaniam, a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry and chemical biology.

Magnetic attraction

System that prompts objects to ‘float’ in suspension could prove boon to manufacturing with fragile materials

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When the “body” of the robot is inflated, it arches; when the “legs” are inflated, the robot stands up. Sequential pressurization and depressurization of the legs allows the robot to walk to a barrier (a glass plate). Deflation of the body decreases the height of the robot, and a different sequence of actuation of the legs gives it a kind of undulatory motion, and allows it to wiggle under the barrier. Once on the other side, re-inflation of the body allows it to resume its walk.

Soft-bots

Harvard professor’s work challenges traditional image of robotics

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