Soft Robots Run on Vacuum Power | AIChE

Soft Robots Run on Vacuum Power


Researchers have created an innovative vacuum-powered soft pneumatic actuator (V-SPA) that can be quickly assembled into a variety of multifunctional robots. Now, it’s possible to create soft robots capable of picking up objects, moving around the floor, or crawling up the wall. And, the robots can be built in within a matter of hours.

“Our prototype units have already demonstrated thousands of cycles (after days of continuous use) and have required very little repair over their lifespan, suggesting they could be used with little change as part of a commercial soft robotics kit,” says Jamie Paik, Founder and Director of the Reconfigurable Robotics Lab (RRL) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).

Flexible and soft robotic parts are highly desired because humans are more comfortable interacting with them and they are easier to manipulate than hard, inflexible robots. Many flexible robotic parts use inflation (positive air pressure) to stretch and bend. However, the V-SPA uses negative pressure — i.e., vacuum — which more closely mimics the motion and contraction of biological muscle. And, this new actuator is much easier and faster to fabricate than the few existing vacuum-driven...

Would you like to access the complete CEP News Update?

No problem. You just have to complete the following steps.

You have completed 0 of 2 steps.

  1. Log in

    You must be logged in to view this content. Log in now.

  2. AIChE Membership

    You must be an AIChE member to view this article. Join now.

Copyright Permissions 

Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.

Related Topics