Design Competition 2016

High School




Fabric Reinforced Motion Control Robot

Bio-Inspired Manta Ray Robot

The Fabric-Reinforced Controlled Motion Robot (Robbinsville High School, NJ, USA) is a soft robot that mimics the basic locomotive methods of both an earthworm and an inchworm.  It is comprised of three silicone bladders arranged in a triangle. Each bladder is divided into two sections allowing the front and back of the robot to operate independently. The bladders are confined within a fabric sleeve.  This sleeve not only limits radial expansion of the bladders but also acts as soft armor, protecting the robot from environmental hazards that could cut or puncture the bladders. 

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Pneumatic Deformation Sensors


Pneumatic Deformation Sensors (Horace Greeley High School, NY, USA) are a new type of soft sensor designed for use with soft robots. The sensors are intended to provide feedback on how they deform, hence them being deformation sensors. They can be fitted and utilized in many soft robotic actuators, such as the actuators on the Soft Robotics Toolkit. Read more -->


Exploration of the oceans is not a simple task, requiring specialized technology. One such technology is AUVs, or Autonomous Underwater Vehicles which are “robotic vehicles that, depending on their design, can drift, drive, or glide through the ocean without real-time control by human operators”. AUVs have been built and programmed to perform a wide range of tasks, from mapping the ocean floor to monitoring environmental conditions. A variety of sensors can be used to gather data about different aspects of the environment.This project aims to use the efficiency of nature to create a nimble Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) with a considerable service life. To do this, the team (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA, USA) turned to its attention to a master of efficiency in our oceans, the manta ray. Read more -->


Runners Up

Hand Gesture Controlled Soft Robot Manipulator

WHO (World Health Organization) Ebola Road Map statistics (Published in 28th August 2014) reflects our current capacity of safely handling an unknown epidemic situation. It shows that we should still work on developing much sophisticated technologies to reduce death counts in epidemic situations. One attempt of reducing the deaths of medical sector workers will be the Design and Development of a Hand Gesture Controlled Soft Robot Manipulator. This will be helping the medical sector workers to gain access in to an unfamiliar situation remotely and handle it carefully using their hand gestures. One of the main disadvantages in Robotics applications is the requirement of expertise to operate the robot. This project (The Open University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka) will be addressed on eliminating such factors to increase the efficiency and applicability of robots in the medical industry. Read more -->

Underwater Hydrojetting System

While most ocean life relies entirely on wave-like undulation to move through the water, the soft bodies of cephalopods (e.g., octopuses, squids and cuttlefish) allow many modes of locomotion, including hydrojetting.. Of all man-made systems, torpedoes come closest to achieving the same speeds and efficiency; however, their propulsion method relies primarily on the use of a large quantity of fuel. This project (Cornell University, NY, USA) aims to fabricate a soft-robotic combustion chamber for subaquatic propulsion that mimics the cephalopods' biological systems. Read more -->

Honorable Mentions

Soft Robotic Gripper for Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy (Westford Academy, MA, USA)Artificial Eyelid Closure Using Soft Exopatches (UNSW, Sydney, Australia)
Soft Actuation Reacher Grabber (Walt Whitman High School, MD, USA)Miniature Soft bending Actuator with Embedded Coiled Muscles (Colorado State University, CO, USA)
 Soft Robotic Hand (Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA)