Soft Robots Article HW

  • A robot is classified as hard or soft on the basis of the compliance of its underlying materials3 . Soft robots are capable of continuum deformations, but not all continuum robots are soft
  • The inverse-kinematics algorithm enables task–space planning algorithms to autonomously position their end effector (or some other part of their body) in free space; manoeuvre in confined environments; and grasp and place objects
  • An understanding of the working principles and control of soft organisms (such as the octopus) has led to a model for the control of soft robots
  • So far, most integrated soft-robotic systems have relied on conventional, rigid electronics to store the control algorithms and connect to the systems’ actuators, sensors and power sources
  • Soft-robot designs have been automatically generated using custom finite element analysis software (VoxCAD), which accommodates materials with a large range of moduli, coupled with design optimization using an evolutionary algorithm. In addition, evolutionary algorithms have been used to automatically generate soft-robot designs
  • Soft systems have a natural advantage over rigid robots in grasping and manipulating unknown objects because the compliance of soft grippers allows them to adapt to a variety of objects with simple control schemes
  • Because soft robots are different from conventional rigid linkage-based systems, researchers have developed new static, dynamic and kinematic models that capture their ability to bend and flex
  • Researchers have used these models to develop new approaches to low-level control, inverse kinematics, dynamic operations and planning for soft-robotic systems
  • Soft robots have the potential to provide a link between living systems and artificial systems at multiple levels: high-level tasks, in interactions between humans and robots, and in cognition
  • The study of these systems for the development and implementation of soft-robotic systems has, in turn, reflected back on our understanding of the mechanics and control of the associated natural systems
  • Recent promising developments include batteries based on graphene, organic polymers and embedded conductive fabric.

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