In this section, we summarize the scope of the applications of laminar jamming structures, namely their adjustable stiffness, impact response and deformation alternation between discrete and continuous.
Some of the advantages of LJS are that they can be plastically deformed in their vacuumed state, and, if coupled with a soft actuator (e.g., with PneuNets Bending Actuators) can lock in arbitrary shapes after jammed. Below you see a video demonstrating these fundamental characteristics:
Laminar jamming can also effectively tune the dynamic responses of real-world robotic structures and systems. The impact response of soft structures (i.e., soft substrates with integrated jamming structures) can be tuned to conserve or dissipate energy as desired. For an incoming projectile with high kinetic energy, such as the baseball in the video below, relieving vacuum pressure from the jamming structures allows the energy of the projectile to be maximally preserved and the landing structure to return to equilibrium; on the other hand, applying vacuum pressure to the jamming structures rapidly dissipates the energy of the projectile and preserves the landing structure in a deformed state.
In addition, laminar jamming can be used in structures that simulate joints and can alternate between continuous and discrete deformation. The structures can perform pinch or wrasp graps, depending on the vacuum pressured applied to the LJS. With vacuum is off, the system displays continuous deformation with nearly constant curvature. When vacuum is on, the system exhibits discrete deformation with joints; rigid sections with low curvature are connected by flexible sections with much higher curvature, approximating the kinematics of a traditional articulated manipulator.