Here is a selection of our major projects. There are lots of ideas, backburner robots, and experiments coming in and out of the picture, but these are the designs we are proudest of.
This robotic quadruped is made of one seamless silicone casting and walks using only two control lines. Its internal structure is ribbed and twisted in such a way that, when air is applied to one of the input lines, its whole body flexes. With this flex, first one side and then the other, it walks in a way that makes it look like a Glaucus Atlanticus or blue sea slug.
You can find more information on the project and downloads here.
Orthotic exoskeletons can be powerful tools for rehabilitation. They offer freedom and independence for anyone suffering from a movement disorder. Unfortunately they can be expensive, difficult to use, and uncomfortable. Small imperfections in the exoskeleton's fit can result in serious injuries. Most devices have to be fit with the help of a prosthetist over multiple visits. This means growing children need many expensive robots and doctor's visits as they develop. Soft robotics offers an avenue to apply force evenly across the body with an exoskeleton that is as gentle as it is strong. Being conformal by nature means a single design can fit a wide range of people just like any athletic brace.
The Neucuff is a soft robotic exoskeleton that's worn on the elbow. It has inflating elements that become rigid as they're pressurized, extending the arm.
You can find more documentation about this project and download source files here.
As part of our mission to make soft robotics simpler, we've put a lot of time and thought into developing printable soluble materials. We've experimented with directly printing in PVA, salt, sugar, corn starch and a host of other formulas. Having a reliable soluble material that prints directly without any need for molding or casting reduces the engineering and fabrication time on our prototypes hugely.
Although we're still perfecting the process, we have been able to generate several successful models using this process as seen here.
You can find more documentation and downloads here.
Super-Releaser is experimenting with methods for making prosthetics. Combining parametric molding with concepts like soluble cores and procedurally generated molds creates a system for producing inexpensive custom tailored mechanisms.
We are developing prototypes with anisometric durometer, biomimetic actuators, and interfaces generated from scan data.
With scanning technologies becoming more inexpensive and ubiquitous there is a huge potential in adapting inexpensive customized equipment for prostheses from scan data. We are experimenting with methods to take data from a residual limb scan and develop a custom sleeve that fits that limb into a prosthetic with a layer of silicone that has internal features that cushion bones and load bearing areas and external features that help lock it in to the prosthetic. It's a little like the process for securing a jet turbine blade while it's being machined.
For a complete list of all the research we've conducted including downloads, documentation, tutorials, and code snippets, please see this thread on our forums.