Alternatives to hard components hold potential for applications from surgery to space exploration
In January of 2019, Assistant Professor Ellen Mazumdar arrived in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering with the intention of building a robotic actuator without using a single hard component or material – a feat that, to her knowledge, had never been done before.
“We’re really interested in trying to build fully soft robots,” said Mazumdar. “In many current systems, soft components are hooked up to hard pumps or electronics. We want to move towards robots with soft actuators, soft sensors, soft electronics, and soft energy storage.”
In Mazumdar’s Sensing Technologies Laboratory, she is working with PhD student Noah Kohls to develop a biologically-inspired soft actuator that mimics the form and functionality of Xenia soft corals. [Read more…] about Opinion: The incredible potential of soft robotics