Underwater Soft Robotics

Underwater Soft Robotics

Saba Ghole
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Imagine robots that look more like caterpillars and sponges rather than the giant robotic arms that you see on factory floors...this is the world of soft robotics, and it’s changing the impact of robotics in a wide array of industries. These highly flexible, lightweight systems can accomplish tasks and missions that would be unimaginable by traditional robotics due to their soft, deformable materials and hydraulic or pneumatic actuation. All around the world, designers and engineers are using soft robotics to create slithery mechanisms, precise gripping and throwing mechanics, responsive apparel, smart accessories, lightweight water-based machines, and assistive devices to enhance people’s everyday life and our ability to navigate in complex conditions.

Oftentimes explorers, rescuers, and disaster aid workers find themselves in underwater situations where they don’t have adequate tools to fulfill their mission. These situations might come about because of climate change, a post-disaster flood, or even daily life in a submarine. In this studio, we will examine these highly challenging situations, and imagine innovations in devices and equipment that can help these users come out unharmed.

Through this process, students will learn the basics of electronics, microcontrollers and computer programming. They will learn how to integrate external sensors (from simple switches and buttons to heat/temperature, light, gas, touch) and actuators (such as motors, lights, speakers, solenoids, valves, fans) into their designs to create responsive products. Students will also learn the engineering, 3D modeling, robotics, and programming skills to bring their vision to reality.


Focus Skills/Subjects/Technologies:

   Industrial Design

     Interaction Design

   Fashion Design

   Physics (Electricity, Magnetism)




   Robotics (Arduino, Sensors, Actuators)

   Digital Fabrication (Laser-cutting, 3d Printing)

   3d Modeling


  • Enrolling students must be between the ages of 14 to 18 (or grades 9-12)