Soft Robotics Week at the Ed Portal!
As part of our continuing outreach efforts the toolkit hosted the second year of a weeklong workshop at the Harvard Ed Portal. The Ed Portal, a collaboration between Harvard, the city of Boston and the Allston-Brighton Community, is a community center meant to facilitate the spread of Harvard educational resources and provide programs in the arts, sciences and other disciplines. The Toolkit workshop, which hosted students from ages 10-14 from the local community, spent the week instructing students to create components of soft robots like actuators and sensors using cardboard molds and silicones. When the components were finished, students integrated their devices into a system for testing grasping force on a variety of objects like fruit, baseballs, foam blocks and tools.
In addition to building components, students experimented with the design process by participating in an open-ended design activity conceptualizing an application for their newfound soft robotic fabrication skills. Toolkit hosts guided them in the activity and helped to reinforce the use of the design process to help them present their ideas to the group.