2015 Soft Robotics Competitions Update:
Back in early 2015, the Soft Robotics Toolkit team was happy to announce two new competitions in the area of soft robotics: the 2015 Soft Robotics Competitions. We have been overwhelmed with the amazing amount of entries to the competitions (over 82 teams registered!) and have been impressed with the quality and variety of projects submitted. The competitions are now closed and the judging process has begun. With $10,000 in prize money, we want to make sure that we give each entry the fair and unbiased evaluation it deserves. With this in mind, we will be announcing the winners of the competition on August 15th. Thank you to all teams who participated!
What is the soft robotics toolkit?
The Soft Robotics Toolkit is a collection of shared resources to support the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices. The toolkit was developed as part of educational research being undertaken in the Harvard Biodesign Lab. The ultimate aim of the toolkit is to advance the field of soft robotics by allowing designers and researchers to build upon each other’s work. The toolkit includes an open source fluidic control board, detailed design documentation describing a wide range of soft robotic components (including actuators and sensors), and related files that can be downloaded and used in the design, manufacture, and operation of soft robots. In combination with low material costs and increasingly accessible rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC mills, the toolkit enables soft robotic components to be produced easily and affordably.
Each section of the site focuses on a soft robotic device or component, and includes the following sections:
- Design: A description of the device and how it works, with related design files that can be downloaded and guidelines on potential modifications you could make to the design.
- Fabrication: A bill of materials listing all of the parts, materials, and equipment you will need to build your own device, plus a detailed set of instructions for you to follow.
- Modeling: A discussion of modeling and analysis approaches you can use to predict and understand the behavior of the device and optimize your design.
- Testing: In order to validate your models and better understand your device, you will need to carry out empirical tests. This section describes the tests that other designers and researchers have carried out and that may provide inspiration for the design of your own experiments.
- Case Studies: Examples of how others have used the device or component for real-world applications.
- Downloads: All of the files related to the design, fabrication, modeling, testing, and control of the device.
The content on this site is drawn from projects carried out in a number of research labs. Our aim is to improve and expand the toolkit by welcoming feedback and contributions from the soft robotics community. If you have an interest in advancing the field and engaging with this community, please get in touch!
Contribute content and help the Soft Robotics Toolkit to grow
Take a quick survey to help improve the quality of the Toolkit
Some of the information contained in this web site includes intellectual property covered by both issued and pending patent applications. It is intended solely for research, educational and scholarly purposes by not-for-profit research organizations.
If you have interest in specific technologies for commercial applications, please contact us here.