Super-Releaser Robotics

Soft robots for hard problems

Cheap, functional, reliable things unleash the creativity of people who then build stuff that you could not imagine. There’s no way of predicting the Internet based on the first transistor.
— George Whitesides

Who We Are

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Super-Releaser is an early-stage robotics startup, developing medical devices that fit the body by design. We hope to change the shape of rehabilitation. We're designing  new robots unlike any in medicine. Imagine a robot that trains a recovering stroke victim's gait which happens to be a slip-on knee cuff and costs less than a plane ticket. Picture an orthotic sleeve for assisting cerebral palsy sufferers that you can simply pick out at the pharmacy like an ankle brace. We are designing these and more.

Additionally, we offer prototyping and design services to universities, businesses, and research groups looking to develop solutions using soft robots.


Prototype to Product

At Super-Releaser, we believe in application oriented robotics. We are attempting to take human error and assembly time out of the equation as much as possible. We believe that soft robots have applications everywhere from prosthetics, to exploratory robots, to industrial manipulators, but they've yet to be seriously applied there because of the time consuming assembly process and unpredictable results. Things like like seams in soft materials and air lines routed through rubber have confounded their development.

Here is how we create durable, inexpensive robots: they are designed in CAD, molds are 3d printed, and those molds are cast in silicone. This process has a few advantages over traditional subtractive fabrication. First, iteration is fast and dynamic. It is simple to design a bot in CAD and simultaneously print multiple experiments and prototypes. Second, casting is inexpensive and repeatable. Once a successful design is fleshed out, creating an army of exact duplicates is as simple as casting the mold multiple timesThird, the designs developed using these methods easily translates into a manufacturing context. Making high volume production molds based on the initial CAD follows the same tool chain as any other industrial casting process. If a project calls for thousands of identical silicone robots, HTV (high temperature vulcanizing) silicones can be injected into machined molds just like any mass produced plastic part.

One of our most crucial breakthroughs a method for making seamless silicone robots. Using soluble cores we are able to create complex internal chambers and air lines with a single casting. Once the core is removed, the robot is ready to be plugged in.


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Open Source

We believe that our best applications will come from collaboration and community development. We are committed to publishing our methods, results, and findings as much as possible.

We're putting our chips on the table. You can read all of our published documentation here and download some of our most successful prototypes to fabricate your own soft robots here