Soft robots are gaining a lot of attention in the research world, in large part due to safety benefits for humans who may need to work in their vicinity. Soft robots are attracting a lot of attention in the research world, and from an engineering lab at the University of California, San Diego came up with an exciting new example of this technology in the form of an air-powered robot. is under pressure and can be moved without electronics.
Air pressure and inflatable components have played an important role in soft robot research, from machines that can run like pallets to inflatable clamps that can carefully handle delicate objects. kidney. But most of these solutions require electronic circuits, pumps, and power supplies to function, leading to cost and complexity of the end product.
The UC San Diego team designed a soft robot that is instead controlled through what is described as a pneumatic circuit. They consist of a system of four-legged cylindrical compartments that work with oscillating valves that allow air with pressure in and out in certain sequences.
This causes a curvature of the legs, each with three degrees of movement, and when done in the correct sequence, will allow the robot to move on the floor. The team designed pneumatic control circuits to create a pedicure-inspired gait, while also integrating sensors in the form of tiny bubbles at the end of the boom that extend from the robot’s body. . This means that when the robot encounters an obstacle, the bubble will sink down, dislodge the valve and cause the robot to move in the opposite direction.
“This work represents a fundamental but important step forward for a fully autonomous, non-electronic walking robot,” said Dylan Drotman, the first author of a paper describing the technology.
In addition to children’s toys, the researchers said the technology could also find applications in places where electronics can’t work, such as in mines and MRI machines. The team also hopes to build on this research by developing versions of robots that can navigate to more rugged terrain and more complex obstacles. Their future plans also include studying how these pneumatic circuits could be used to handle simpler functions such as walking in hybrid robots, while the flux circuits often power and operate to handle more complex tasks.
The research has been published in the journal Robotics, while the video below shows the robot in action.
Air powered robot, electronic free
Source: University of California, San Diego