Soft Robotics – week 1

Cable Experiments

Straw, thread and beads
curtain experiment
multiple straws spider experiment

References

Here is a list of interesting references that I found during my research this week with examples of projects in the field of soft robotics.

Artist Onyx Ashanti

Soft opportunities in a Toy Store

For my soft materials research, I went to FAO Schwarz at the Rockefeller center, because I thought that there I would find the biggest variety of toys. In general, I felt disappointed with the diversity of soft materials in the store in general. Most of them could be found in teddy bears made of the same materials. Unfortunately, I could not find any inflatable or pneumatic system, or even floating objects, in which I’m interested in.

List of materials that I found:

  • Polyester Fiber was the most common material in the store, for sure, found in teddy bears, dolls clothes, etc. It feels really comfortable and cozy to touch it, so it can be used in projects with human or pets interaction which needs to generate those feelings.
  • Polyurethane Foam, found in a sponge. It’s no that soft, but can be used in projects that need a squishy compression effect. It also can float on the water which can interesting.
  • Gummy made of a mixture of syrups, water, gelatin, and other substances. It’s interesting to think about the possibility of working with eatables in the universe of robots, like moving food.
  • Magic snow? – I really don’t know what that was made of and it was not written on the package. It felt really good to touch it, but it would be hard to create anything from it because it has not enough consistency to build shapes and forms.
  • *The deer horn is made of a polymer that I don’t know the name as well. It was not really soft, but it had some movement when you press it.
On my way back home, I found softness being used in publicity referring it as a texture and a human behavior

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