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Soft Robotics

I was looking at Garagelab's latest e-mail newsletter and they had a video on this project developed at Harvard called the Soft Robotics Toolkit.  It's an open source system that provides designs and component lists for you to make your own pneumatically actuated robots. The cool part is that you manufacture the sensors and the actuators yourself, they're primarily made from cast silicone.  You make the molds using a 3D printer, SO, once I'm  done with this Halloween stuff I think I might be playing with some goop!

check it out!

Soft Robotics Toolkit


  • That's just f'ed up.  I'm in!  

    I've never seen any casting go quite so cleanly as they are showing in the video.  We're gonna need more than just those cute blue gloves.  The last time I did casting I was wishing for full facial protection...  :)
  • Ya, the key for nice silicone is using a bell jar and a vacuum pump to get all the bubbles out of your liquid before you pour. Or better yet, when it's sitting in the mould. But I'd be interested to see how that would work with a 3D printed mould since the mould is semi porous and you'd think there'd be an issue with material getting drawn into the cavities of the mould and then the part would be really hard to release?

    I guess we should just start playing wi
  • I think that this could be a lot of fun to mess around with for sure. I think that releasing the mould would come down to three things: Resolution of the print(300 microns is really rough and would provide substantial traction for a would be mould), direction of the print(Which way are you going to try and remove the print vs. the direction of the filament that was laid down), and last but not least how many do you want to make, if it is a one off mould you could just break the part away should you have any problems.
  • We so need to make one of these, we might be getting a load of silicone at the space in the near future as well, and I have a bunch of pneumatic stuff available once Halloween is over.
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