Advanced Fabrication and Morphological Computation for Soft Robotics

Cecilia Laschi • Koh Hosoda • Jun Wei • Pablo Valdivia Y Alvarado • Surya G. Nurzaman • Fumiya Iida

08:30 - 17:00 | Monday 29 May 2017 | Room 4611/4612



The field of soft robotics has seen considerable advances in recent years. New materials and functional structures continue to be the basis of various novel ideas for actuators, sensors, and mechanisms for grasping, manipulation, and locomotion. However, recent advances in fabrication techniques and morphological computation are poised to further expand application areas, performance, as well as impact of soft robots. Added functionality in soft structures, quantifiable through the concept of morphological computation, relies on the manner in which various features and materials are combined in different scales. Physical properties and geometry need to be tailored to enable performance. The ability to tailor these features and the various scales at which this is done is of tremendous importance for performance. Fabrication and morphological computation are therefore two areas that will have a great impact on the Soft Robotics field. Advances in the physical understanding of various advantageous phenomena at play leads to increasingly challenging designs both in terms of desired geometries and material distributions. Traditional sequential casting and additive manufacture present serious limitations and new techniques are needed. Furthermore, new available structural functionality presents a tremendous opportunity for new techniques in morphological computation.