An interesting email came in this week, showing a novel way to use cheap resin printers to create these soft body actuators.
Researchers Zeyu Yan and Huaishu Peng of the University of Maryland College Park have just published a paper (and video) about a novel new approach to creating “Interactive Hydraulic Devices” using a cheap SLA printer.
As you can see in the video above, they’re using a modified resin bath to print these structures that are flexible and also have fluid trapped inside them. With some creative design, and a bit of pressure, you’ve got a hydraulic actuator. This is the kind of thing that you’d use to create compliant or soft-body robotics, and now you can simply just print them!