An all soft, electro-pneumatic controller for soft robots

Martin S Garrad*, Isabella Feeney, Andrew T Conn, Jonathan M Rossiter, Markus Nemitz, Helmut Hauser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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Abstract

Despite an ever increasing variety of soft sensors and actuators, there are only a few entirely soft robots that integrate both modalities into an autonomous system. Often, a minimum set of rigid components such as microcontrollers, are embedded into soft systems, compromising their flexibility. This has led to growing interest in entirely compliant versions of controllers for soft robots. In this work, we present the first integration of two such soft control systems: the soft, bistable valve and the soft matter computer. By combining them we allow information to pass from the pneumatic to the electrical domain, enabling control of electric soft actuators with pneumatic control signals. Our work is an important step towards the development of fully compliant robots and machines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE 4th International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Pages547-550
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728177137
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2021

Publication series

Name2021 IEEE 4th International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
email: m.garrad@bristol.ac.uk MG and HH were supported by the Leverhulme Trust Research Project RPG-2016-345. AC was supported by EPSRC research grant EP/R02961X/1. JR was supported through EPSRC research grants EP/S026096/1, EP/R02961X/1 and EP/M020460/1, and by the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Chair in Emerging Technologies. We would also like to acknowledge the startup funding from WPI for salary support of MPN. 1Department of Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol, UK 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol, UK 3SoftLab, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, University of Bristol and University of the West of England, UK 4Nemitz Robotics Group, Department of Robotics Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA, USA Data are available at the University of Bristol data repository, data.bris, at https://doi.org/10.5523/bris.1lwtezdrafm2e29fvz5dorzvj2.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.

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