The design section is divided into two parts, pump and system design, and demonstration design. Before the designs are discussed in detail, we must define the goals of the project and explain the basic mechanism of the system.

The Goal of Project

To develop a novel actuation system for tether-less soft robots. Requirements for the system are as follows. 

  • Small enough to install into robots
  • Using batteries, no external equipment
  • Powerful with controllable flow 
  • Easy to fabricate
  • Clean: Using alcohol instead of oil


Conventional pneumatic systems for soft robotics basically consist of a compressor, control valves, and actuators. To install them in soft mobile robots is difficult because of the size of the compressor. In addition, usual valves can control on and off only.
The team proposed a novel hydraulic system that can realize tether-less soft robots. In their system, a pump directly controls liquid flow instead of control valves. Meanwhile, they can get rid of the compressor because the pump pressurizes the working fluid to an actuator. In the second proposed system, the working fluid is shared between two McKibben actuators. That will be explained in the system design section.

 Depending on the applications, you can modify the 3D printed outlet casing.