Above: Multi-channel pneumatic flow control system for soft robotic system.
Autonomous systems composed of soft, compliant materials provide many new capabilities in actuation, sensing, and perception compared to their rigid counterparts. However, because the dynamics of these systems are strongly nonlinear and intrinsically high dimensional, modeling and control has remained a challenge. In the HART lab, we are exploring novel architectures for embedding tactile sensors in soft materials with simplified, low-dimensional model systems. Insight from this work can not only be applied to the control of soft autonomous robots, but also to new soft assistive devices that better conform and synergize with the human body.
This project is carried out in collaboration with the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab. (Image: Prototype soft pneumatic cell.)