Robust And Adaptive Design
Our mission is the pursuit of more effective soft robotic systems that robustly and adaptively interact with the world
Activated Permanent Rigidity In Soft Robots
There are some situations where soft robot's notorious compliance is only necessary in the short-term before high stiffness or higher force application is needed. Using foam, one can grow in a soft, compliant manner, and then activate the chemical properties to stiffen the foam and create a more rigid robot, which can be used as a frame or pathway for other robots to travel or maneuver.
3D Printed Soft Actuators
We are designing and developing a pneumatic soft actuator using 3D printed components. The primary application of this robot would be in haptic devices. Innovations in this project are focused around, but not limited to, optimum soft actuator design for material usage and force application, system identification based on design parameters and eventually, designing a controller to achieve desired functionality while maintaining 4-6 degrees of freedom.
During kinesthetic teaching, robots gain information through physical interaction when humans kinesthetically guide it throughout the task. While prior works focus on how the robot learns, we are developing haptic systems that provide feedback to the human teacher. Our soft haptic displays wrap around and conform to the surface of a robot arm, adding haptic feedback at existing points of contact without significantly affecting the interaction.
Vine Robots are soft continuum robots design with low-cost fabrication in mind and for the navigation of difficult environments. Unlike traditional robots, which move through surface contact to walk or run, the vine robot relies on growth for movement. Much like a vine and other plants, the robot has a grounded root, or “base,” and can continually grow as it expands to add material at its tip.
Dr. Blumenschein named MIT's Top 35 Innovators Under 35
Shashank and Alankriti graduate with a Masters of Science in Mech. Eng.
Antonio Alvarez-Valdivia is awarded NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship