Soft Robotic Components
Soft robots require various sensing and actuating components that are made from soft or smart materials. It is important when designing soft systems, to understand how material properties can affect system performance as a whole. In my research, I’ve built sensors with liquid metal and exfoliated graphite composite and worked with various actuation methods, including shape memory alloys, McKibben actuators, and cables. I’m interested in deepening the community understanding of the materials used in soft robotics to help design systems.
Modeling of a Highly-Coupled Cable-Driven Continuum Robot
Continuum robots have a wide range of applications from medical to space to general purpose robotic arms. These robots experience continuum deformations, like elephant trunks and snakes, rather than localized deformations at joints. Most cable-driven systems have used cable routing to decouple the robot’s segments, but there are advantages to having a system that is highly coupled, like biological systems.
Robotic skins are 2D planar structures (generally elastomer films or fabrics) with sensing and actuating components. They can be wrapped around other passive bodies to impart motion to those bodies through surface manipulation. Robotic skins are easily reconfigurable and be used for a wide variety of tasks, such as manipulation and locomotion. These skins can also be used to assist in controlling the passive bodies.