The results of the 2018 Soft Robotic Design Competitions and Prize for Research have been announced!
This year we received submissions of medical devices, aquatic vehicles, and soft sensors. These, and other soft robotic components will be published on the Toolkit to add to the growing library of soft robotic technologies.
We would like to thank everyone who participated this year in the form of contributors or as part of our esteemed judging panel. Our judges, who are researchers, professional, and experts in their field have reviewed each submission for novelty, significance to the field of research, and quality of documentation. Over the past four years, we have hosted over 800 participants in the competition and have amassed a total of 127 pages of documentation sets. We could not have grown this online community without the help of our contributors. If you did not enter this year, please keep a look out for our announcement for the fifth annual competition in January 2019, and sign up for our newsletter for official details and timeline.
For the details and excerpts from each winner please visit the 2018 competition landing 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.