Launching the 2016 Soft Robotics Competitions! 

We are happy to announce the 2nd edition of the Soft Robotics Competitions! This contest is a great opportunity for anyone with an interest in robotics to design and build their own soft robot, using the open-source resources available on the Soft Robotics Toolkit. The entries from last year's competitions were extremely impressive, and we look forward to seeing more innovative soft robots this year!

This year, the contest has been expanded to include three separate categories for  academic researchers, college students, and high school students.

Read our full press release for more details!

Announcing the winners of the 2015 Soft Robotics Competitions!

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. We are finally able to announce the winners and runners up for the 2015 competitions! We know this announcement has been a long time coming and we'd like to thank all teams who participated!

Visit the announcement page for more details on the winners.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Modeling: A discussion of modeling and analysis approaches you can use to predict and understand the behavior of the device and optimize your design.
  4. 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.
  5. Case Studies: Examples of how others have used the device or component for real-world applications.
  6. 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!

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Latest News

Gizmodo - Inside The Experimental Robotics Lab Where Machines Are Getting Softer

Gizmodo - Inside The Experimental Robotics Lab Where Machines Are Getting Softer

April 27, 2015

Last week, an artificially intelligent robot scared me to death . The next day, I travelled to Carnegie Mellon University where I met a lab full of robots designed to do the exact opposite. Big, soft, and inflatable, these robots are Disney characters in real life. Your grandma's going to love them. That's the idea.

Read the full article here.

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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.