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soft robotics

by   -   April 6, 2016

In a new paper, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) present the first-ever technique for 3-D printing robots that involves printing solid and liquid materials at the same time.

by   -   January 11, 2016

If you have a soft spot for robotics, this competition is right up your alley. With separate tracks for academic researchers, college students, and high school students, the 2016 Soft Robotics Competition offers anyone with an interest in robotics the chance to design and build their own soft robot using the resources available in the open-source Soft Robotics Toolkit.

by   -   November 9, 2015

In part 2 of the Disruptive: Bioinspired Robotics episode, Wyss Founding Core Faculty Member Robert Wood discusses new manufacturing techniques that are enabling popup and soft robots.

 The Jaeger-Lipson coffee balloon gripper. Its soft end effector adapts itself to the object it grasps. Source: John Amend
The Jaeger-Lipson coffee balloon gripper. Its soft end effector adapts itself to the object it grasps. Source: John Amend

Soft robots are versatile, often much safer, more energy-efficient, robust and resilient than their more rigid counterparts. But one of the biggest challenges facing soft robotics is control – often, classical approaches don’t apply. The answer may lie in morphological computation, an idea that stems from biological systems using their bodies to control basic actions.

Today, building envelopes tend to be static and unable to adapt to changing conditions. Now, for the first time, an adaptable façade has been used for the newly inaugurated House of Natural Resources (HoNR) that produces electricity and regulates light and heat generation.

The Soft Robotics Toolkit recently announced two competitions for robotics research and design. In July 2015, two expert panels will award prizes to soft robotics projects submitted by students, researchers, and designers. The first competition focuses on research contributions in the area of soft robotics, while the second awards novel designs that make use of soft components.

by   -   April 28, 2015
Baymax, Chris Atkeson and Hiro from Disney's Big Hero 6. Source: Chris Atkeson
Baymax, Chris Atkeson and Hiro from Disney’s Big Hero 6. Source: Chris Atkeson

Baymax, the lovable, inflatable robot star of Disney’s recent hit, Big Hero 6, is far from a movie fantasy. With their soft cushiony bodies, robots like Baymax have very real prospects as future care-givers, space-travellers and more. Robohub’s Helmut Hauser spoke to the man who inspired Baymax – Chris Atkeson, Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University – about the hard science behind soft robotics.


Exhibiting at big events takes both time and money. Is it worth it for a robotics startup to invest in big expos like CES?  We asked Bill Culley of Empire Robotics – the company behind the VERSABALL soft ball gripper – to share his perspective. 

by   -   December 18, 2014

Soft robotics is finally leaving the research lab and entering the real world.   One of the companies leading the way is a Boston-based startup that is commercializing the innovations of the Whitesides Research Group at Harvard. I’m talking today with Soft Robotics CEO Carl Vause. Full transcript below.

What looks like a fish, swims like a fish but isn’t a fish? The latest in soft-bodied robots created by team of engineers of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

by   -   February 24, 2014

Lecture 6 – Soft Robotics and Bioinspiration II

In this second lecture hosted by the Scuola Superiore S. Anna, Matteo Cianchetti builds on the previous lecture to talk about building soft actuators for soft robots. In Matteo’s lecture, titled “Soft actuator design methods“,  he explains that the devil is in the details, but that it’s possible to build soft actuators by insightfully exploiting the properties of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA). Want to learn how?

by   -   February 17, 2014

Lecture 5 – Soft Robotics and Bioinspiration I

Hosted by Prof. Cecilia Laschi from the Scuola Superiore S. Anna in Pisa, Italy, this ShanghAI episode puts together contrasting approaches to ‘embodied intelligence’ and ‘embodied cognition’ in her lecture titled How an octopus can help build a robot”.

by   -   March 24, 2013


This is the second part of the “Design Principles for Intelligent Systems” ShanghAI Lecture. After Rolf Pfeifer’s class, Barry Trimmer (Tufts University, USA) gives a guest presentation about soft robotics.

ANYmal: A Ruggedized Quadrupedal Robot
November 11, 2017

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