I wanted to create a soft robot using pneumatic pressure for locomotion, but as a newbie to both Arduino and silicone casting, I decided to make a simplified version using more off-the-shelf, readily-available materials.
This inch worm soft robot uses a party balloon, a hacked heart rate monitor (for the pump, psi sensor, etc.) and some sheet silicone and vinyl. And an Arduino starter kit, of course!
This robot is still connected to the Arduino UNO (and connected back to a laptop), but I eventually will miniaturize it and transfer it to a Pro-trinket and house it within the robot. Updates on this to follow!
Here is the second prototype, this time using the hacked blood pressure monitor. The worm does move forward but it is super SLOW!! This is a time lapsed video so it actually took 70 seconds to move this little guy the few inches you see.
A couple months back, I saw the videos of Matthew Borgatti’s soft robots on the Adafruit website and was really captivated by them. They inspired me to think about building a soft robot using pneumatic pressure for motion for my final project. Plus, I was really thrilled when I found out that our guest critic last week was Matt (thank you Becky)!
CONCEPT 1- RESCUE ROBOT WORM
I looked at the locomotion of worms as one idea. Worms move by stretching out one end of their body while the contracted end holds onto the earth with little setae feet. They keep alternating this front-back stretching to propel forward. This soft robot worm that could be perhaps used for emergency situations to rescue victims that are buried in rubble, snow, mud, etc.
CONCEPT 2 – ELEPHANT TRUNK INTERACTIVE TOY
CONCEPT 3- MEDUSA TENTACLES INTERACTIVE DEVICE
CONCEPT 4- PNEUMATIC THERAPY DEVICES
One version would be a seat or bed lined with silicone bubble surface. Air pressure would push out the bubbles in a rhythmic pattern. I could see this helping patients that needed acupressure or massage therapy. Or for patients that are bed-ridden and need a moving surface to prevent bed sores. A more practical size might be a glove for the hand.
Communicate with others without having to speak… According to Lou van’t Riet, in Belgium potable is slang for date-able and not potable means not date-able!
I designed pants with conductive fabric above and below the knee areas. When you cross your LEFT leg over the right, you can signal YES (potable) with a green light. Cross your RIGHT leg over the left leg, and signal a NO (not potable).
For the final prototype, the lights on the belt were changed to blink every half second to be more noticable.
Light therapy lamps can be effective for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but users have to sit in front of the lamp for lengthy periods… anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
I wanted to create a light therapy hat that can be worn while commuting to work or running errands so that users can be mobile and multi-task while getting treatment. There are a number of hats and visors in the market but they’re pretty cheesy looking…
I had the urban commuter in mind so designed the hat to be mega-stylish plus furry and warm! Plus a winter fur hat made sense since that is the season when light therapy is needed.
FOR THOSE WHO GET THE WINTER BLUES , A DAWN SIMULATOR THAT YOU HUG/SLEEP WITH IN YOUR BED… IN THE MORNING IT SLOWLY GETS BRIGHTER OVER THE COURSE OF 1-2 HOURS TO SIMULATE THE SUNRISE TO HELP YOU WAKE UP AND FIGHT WINTER DOLDRUMS.
SUNLAMPS ALSO EXIST FOR THOSE WITH MORE SERIOUS SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. YOU SIT IN FRONT OF THIS LAMP FOR 30-40MIN A DAY TO STAVE OFF DEPRESSION. CAN THIS BEAR HELP WITH THIS TOO? IT WOULD NEED TO EMIT 5,000-10,000 LUX OF LIGHT SO THAT MIGHT BE DIFFICULT.
LULU HAS SOME PROBLEMS WHEN WE GO FOR A WALK AT NIGHT…. A NIGHT LIGHT STRAPPED TO HER CHEST WOULD SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS!
COULD ATTACH TO A HARNESS OR SWEATER?
LULU LIKES TO TAKE A MIDNIGHT TINKLE… THE JOURNEY IS DARK & SCARY. WHAT IF THE POUF SHE JUMPED ON TO GET OFF THE BED ILLUMINATED AS SOON AS SHE LEAPT ON IT?
INSTEAD OF A GLOW WORM, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A GLOW HOTDOG.