Open Source Soft Robots!

Open Source Soft Robots!
Glaucus Atlanticus.

I’ve seen so many videos of soft robots and desperately wanted one. There’s so much potential! (Especially underwater.) Unfortunately, most of them have been created by research labs that have more resources than I could ever hope for. All that changed today: there’s now an open source soft robot created by Superreleaser! I’ve been keeping an eye on Matthew Borgatti’s work for the past few months and have been really impressed. I like that he’s making them low-cost and open source. The quadruped is a great start. This technology is so new, and could go in so many different directions.

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From their blog post:

After many many revisions, experiments, and prototypes, we’re pleased to announce that our newest robot, a quadruped with no hard moving parts that walks using only two input lines, is complete. It’s called the Glaucus, after the blue sea slug Glaucus Atlanticus. It has hollow interior chambers that interdigitate with one another. When either of these chambers is pressurized it deforms and bends the structure of the robot. This bending produces the walking motion. It is similar to how a salamander walks, by balancing itself on one pair of legs diagonal from one another while moving the opposite pair forward. The Glaucus is a proof of concept for a method developed here that can reproduce nearly any geometry modeled on the computer as a seamless silicone skin. We hopes to apply these same techniques to practical problems in medicine and engineering as the technology develops. For starters, we hope to apply it directly to the orthotic cuffs and prosthetic sleeves we’ve been developing in parallel with the Glaucus project.

Learn more at Superreleaser.

What would you use a soft robot for?

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Co-Founder of OpenROV, a community of DIY ocean explorers and makers of low-cost underwater robots. Author of Zero to Maker. And on Twitter!

View more articles by David Lang


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