Miniaturized untethered soft robots using hydrogel-based soft voxel actuators

Roozbeh Khodambashi, Spring Berman, Ximin He, Daniel M. Aukes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Current soft actuators rely on additional hardware such as pumps, high voltage supplies, light generation sources and magnetic field generators for their operation. These components resist miniaturization and embedding them into small-scale soft robots would be challenging. This limits their mobile applications where the entire system needs to be untethered especially in hyper-redundant robots where a high number of actuators are needed. Here, we introduce miniature and untethered robots made of soft voxel actuators (SVAs) - an active voxel using stimuli-responsive hydrogels actuated by electrical currents through Joule heating. SVAs weighing only 100 mg require small footprint microcontrollers for their operation which can be embedded in the robotic system. We have demonstrated the advantages of hydrogel-based SVAs through a hyper-redundant manipulator with 16 actuators and an untethered miniature robot for underwater mobile applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2021 IEEE 4th International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages571-574
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728177137
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 12 2021
Event4th IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2021 - New Haven, United States
Duration: Apr 12 2021Apr 16 2021

Publication series

Name2021 IEEE 4th International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2021

Conference

Conference4th IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Haven
Period4/12/214/16/21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Modeling and Simulation

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