Soft Robotics 2020

Jenny Kinard

Session 1: Jul 6-17, 2020

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 their rigid counterparts due to their soft, deformable materials. All around the world, designers are using soft robotics to create responsive apparel, smart accessories, and assistive devices to enhance people’s everyday life. Are you ready to make the next breakthrough product using soft robotics?

In this Studio, we will be surveying the current needs and demands for soft robots and propose new contexts for their flexible and compliant mechanisms. Using programmable materials, pneumatic actuators, and bioplastics, we will conceive and fabricate the next species of soft robots. Students will design, build and program tech products from the ground up, test them, and analyze how their products perform. They will explore new potential for compliant mechanisms and understand ways to manipulate material properties to control movement. Through this process, students will posit innovative and unprecedented use cases and contexts for soft robotics as well as devise various material and scale fabrication methods. Get ready for the unbearable softness of bots!


Focus Skills/Subjects/Technologies:

     Bio Materials



   Robotics (Arduino, Sensors, Actuators)

   Custom Fabrication

   3d Modeling