Announcing the 2018 Design and Research Competitions!
It’s that time of year again, the 2018 Soft Robotics Design and Research Competitions are open for registration.
As always, we invite hobbyists, students, researchers, and professionals to join the fourth annual soft robotics competitions that bring together the latest and greatest in soft robotics design and technology from our international community.
The competition is divided into one of three categories of participation. The first, the Prize for Contributions in Soft Robotics Research, is devoted to participants submitting published work in a peer-reviewed journal or conference proceeding that has significant contributions to the body of research. At the college level, the College Design Competition offers university students and hobbyists a chance to showcase their work within the community. Lastly, our High School Design Competition offers our youngest generation of soft roboticists a chance to compete for the top spot. For registration, guidelines, and more details on each category visit the 2018 Soft Robotics Design Competition page.
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. To read more about the development of the Soft Robotics Toolkit please read our publications, detailing the research behind this resource. If you have an interest in advancing the field and engaging with this community, please get in touch!
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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.