πŸ– Air-Powered Soft Robotic Gripper : 18 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables

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Air-Powered Soft Robotic Gripper: Update (1/24/): Important note about 3D printer materials added below. Read before you try this project! Update.


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Air-Powered Soft Robotic Gripper: Update (1/24/): Important note about 3D printer materials added below. Read before you try this project! Update.


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This soft gripper is made to have four legs that are inflated to pick up an object very gently, highlighting it's special suitability for delicate tasks. The gripper.


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Abstract This article presents the development of an underwater gripper that utilizes soft robotics technology to delicately manipulate and.


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The soft robotic gripper consists of three fingers. Each finger contains three air chambers: Two chambers (side chambers) for twisting in two.


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The soft robotic gripper consists of three fingers. Each finger contains three air chambers: Two chambers (side chambers) for twisting in two.


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Abstract This article presents the development of an underwater gripper that utilizes soft robotics technology to delicately manipulate and.


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The Gripper Guys Explain 5 Reasons Why We're The Solution For Industrial Applications

An additional highlight of our mold design is the reconfigurable pneumatic networks often referred to as pneunets in the literature Ilievski et al. In addition, the mold may be deconstructed and reconfigured, which allows for fast iterative design and lowers material costs since a new mold does not need to be made to implement a design change. Throughout the development of the modular mold, we sought to optimize two metrics: design freedom and success rate. Example activity instructions, as well as curriculum materials including a soft robotic gripper design brief and process overview, are provided in the Sections Bβ€”D in Supplementary Material. Components of the modular mold and its application in the soft robotic gripper design activity. In addition, multiple teams demonstrated successful grippers by picking up the golf ball and holding it for 5 s Figures 5 Eβ€”H. On the left are the sample mold configurations, and on the right are the respective finished soft fingers and grippers. Considering the context of robotics education, our goal is not to eliminate these failure modes, but rather to help students identify the cause and effect of failures, thus enabling the iterative design experience needed and guide students to turn ideas into principles of practice Kolodner et al. Robotics has been demonstrated as an effective vehicle for hands-on learning of technical and tinkering skills Hamner et al. The reusability of the modular finger and gripper mold pieces allowed students to apply their learning from design and fabrication of fingers to the design and fabrication of full multi-fingered grippers. Rather than focusing on modular components, in this work, we build upon the existing activity by introducing a modular mold that allows students to participate in the design of non-modular soft grippers.

Soft robotics is an emerging field with strong potential to serve as an educational tool soft robotic gripper to soft robotic gripper advantages such as low costs and shallow learning curves. As part of our broader read more, pre- and post-surveys were conducted for both the soft robot design activity described herein and a traditional robot design activity with identical learning outcomes.

This mold-related failure mode was a result of clips insufficiently connecting to the mold ridges, which in turn caused the clips to detach from the ridges when filling the mold with elastomer. The modular mold kit allows students to select the number of fingers for their gripper design, the number and placement of pneumatic cavities in each finger, and the thickness of the gripper. The intent of this research was to produce and test a modular mold for soft robotic fabrication that increased design freedom while maintaining a sufficiently high success rate. On the other hand, we question whether the success rate achieved was sufficiently high in these initial implementation attempts with the modular mold. Compared to the one-piece mold Finio et al. While both design freedom and success rate are important, previous mold designs excel in one or the other, but not both Section A in Supplementary Material. Therefore, our goal in this work was to increase both metrics in parallel by developing a modular mold. A Air leaking from a hole caused by floating clips; B air leaking from the side; C air leaking from an air bubble; D center of the robot was inflated due to multiple clogged air channels; E a few warped molds; F the warped molds bending upward; G students tried to fix an air leaking by tying a rubber band around it; H students attached a finger to the gripper instead of using the coupler. Since we have not received any feedback that the activity was too challenging or too straightforward, we argue that we are indeed within the ZPD and that completing such an activity can serve to enhance student abilities Yorke, Further evidence of appropriate challenge in the activity is based on measured outcomes of the activity Jackson et al. While previous molds have featured static pneumatic networks, we have introduced clips and ridges Figure 2 B where the clips can be press-fitted to any location on a ridge and may be easily removed and reconfigured. We note that the work presented herein is part of a larger study aimed at measuring differences in engineering motivation and self-efficacy of students after engaging in either a soft robot design experience or a traditional robot design experience. Therefore, the success rate presented here is conservative. Figure 1. The activity adopts the same fabrication process as we do, but it does not allow students to make any modifications to the mold, and focuses on building rather than design. Another observed failure mode was elastomer rupture, which could be caused by either a non-level curing surface or insufficient filling of the mold. Figure 5. While pneumatic soft robotics is an active and complex field of research, the basic concept of filling a balloon-like structure with air to make it move is quite simple. The process of constructing the modular mold enables students to understand how design choices impact system performance. The implementation took about 8 h to complete over multiple min class sessions. Only a single failure mode was observed that was related to modularizing the mold. While obtaining a sufficiently high success rate is a focus of the modular mold evaluation, the soft robot design experience also provides a context to emphasize building and iteration. A,B The mold pieces are reconfigurable and many variations of the mold can be built using the same parts; C completely assembled mold; D top view of the gripper; E bottom view of the gripper; F picking up a golf ball; G picking up a box of candy; H picking up a computer mouse; I picking up a glue bottle; J picking up a roll of tape. Clogging was usually caused by applying an excessive amount of silicone elastomer on the fabric, which would clog the pneumatic actuator cavities, or air channels. An appropriately situated instructional task will be challenging enough that it stretches the students, yet includes the necessary resources for them to accomplish the task. During this time, students designed and fabricated two fingers that varied in design in order to test the impact of variables on finger curvature and performance, then leveraged their findings to design and fabricate a full multi-fingered soft robotic gripper for the specified task of grasping and holding a golf ball for at least 5 s. Our approach of using modular, reconfigurable molds uses the same basic materials and concept, while enabling students to change the configuration of the resulting robot. As such, at least one soft robotics activity has been developed and tested with a variety of age groups, ranging from elementary-school students to high-school students Finio et al. Our unique modular mold allows students to select the number and length of fingers in a gripper, as well as to adjust the internal geometry of the pneumatic actuator cavity, which dictates how and where bending of a finger occurs. Success rate for the activity was evaluated via direct inspection and testing of the student-fabricated grippers by our research team, as well as interviews with participating students and teachers. However, these existing approaches do little to expose the next generation to emerging fields of robotics, such as soft robotics. Among the successful grippers, we observed that students utilized the design freedom of the modular mold by adjusting the lengths of fingers, the number of clips inserted, and the spacing between the clips Figures 5 Aβ€”D. Figure 1 demonstrates the reconfigurability of the mold and also shows an example gripper fabricated with the modular mold gripping a variety of objects. As such, robotics is being rapidly integrated into K education and extracurricular activities, where the education objectives include lessons in mechanics, electronics, programming, problem-solving, and design thinking McGrath et al. However, we also observed some failed grippers, as shown in Figure 6. The implementations were administered by the course teachers, who had attended a professional development meeting prior to the implementations to receive training for the soft robot design activity. These elements are more closely related to the disciplines of materials science, biology, and chemistry instead of traditional engineering disciplines. Figure 2. Specific examples include modular soft robotic components attached through magnetic connections Kwok et al. The concept of modular soft robotics has been demonstrated previously, but only in a laboratory context. By using simple assembly kits, students at all levels are able to design and construct soft robotic grippers that vary in function and performance. Finally, some cases of failure were a result of overheated molds: as the molds are made of 3D printed thermoplastic, heating the mold near or above the glass transition temperature caused significant mold warping. The modular mold kit and a sample soft gripper made from this mold. Although these methods provide a reasonable amount of design freedom during assembly, they involve pre-fabricated soft pneumatic modules and may not provide students with the opportunity to construct soft robots from scratch. A The mold has six different parts, including a hub, end caps, finger caps, middle pieces, a coupler, and clips; B an exploded view that shows how the mold is assembled; C the eight-step fabrication process of a soft robotic gripper using the modular mold kit; i prepare materials; ii assemble mold; iii prepare silicone elastomer mixture; iv pour silicone elastomer into mold and let it cure; v remove cured rubber from mold; vi apply fabric and attach coupler, let them cure; vii trim off extra fabric; viii inflate. In addition, success rate during implementation is critical for student self-confidence and continued interest in engineering learning Bandura, , ; Britner and Pajares, ; Mamaril et al. Finally, the modular mold was quick to assemble and, as a result, students were able to focus on design iterations. In the rest of this paper, we describe the development of the modular mold, the classroom context for implementation, and the testing criteria and results. The majority of students completed the implementation in groups of two, although there were a few groups of three and some students who worked independently, with about 10β€”15 groups in each classroom. Thus, the modular mold produced positive results in both design freedom and success rate. Our goal in this work is to enable a soft robot design activity that retains the learning outcomes of more traditional robot design activities, but reduces the time, cost, and complexity of implementation. FIRST For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology , which includes a competition for high-school students to challenge their ability to design and build a full-scale functional robot. In addition, air bubbles were occasionally identified on the top surface of the gripper, which also contributes to elastomer rupture. Figure 3. It is possible that they worked at one point but ruptured later when students overinflated or performed destructive testing on their grippers. By shifting the fundamental building blocks and leveraging the advantages of soft robotics, we believe there may be an opportunity to broaden interest in robotics and STEM disciplines among K students. For example, students changed the number and spacing of clips and also adjusted the length of the fingers to pick up the specified objects. Based on the failure mode data we collected Table 2 , we infer that the modular design had a minimum effect on the success rate. Making single soft pneumatic fingers of various designs also provides feedback regarding the success of the designs, which students can then employ to design a full multi-fingered gripper. In this work, we focus on using a modular, reconfigurable mold as the foundation of a soft robot design activity in an entry-level STEM course. In this paper, we introduce a modular and reconfigurable mold for flexible design of pneumatic soft robotic grippers. Figure 6. Design freedom allows students to investigate variables that govern the behavior of a system, create a design to optimize performance, and then build, test, and improve the design International Technology Education Association and Technology for All Americans Project, By providing multiple degrees of design freedom, we encourage students to explore and be creative, which enables learning outcomes in both design and fabricationβ€”students learn not only how to make soft robots, but also how to design soft robots. The two most common failure modes were clogging and air leaking due to failed seals. The choice of the number of gripper fingers allows students to familiarize themselves with how to make soft robots by experimenting with a single finger before taking on the more difficult task of making an entire soft gripper. A Multiple assembled finger molds with different length and different number and spacing of the clips; B an assembled gripper mold with different finger lengths and different numbers of clips; C a successful soft finger with three air chambers; D a successful gripper fabricated by the students without any clips; Eβ€”H various grippers demonstrating the ability to pick up the golf ball and hold it for 5 s. On the one hand, classroom observation and gripper inspection indicated that students were indeed using the modularity and design features of the mold pieces to change their designs. The resulting modular mold comprises six types of mold parts, as shown in Figure 2 , but the combination of these parts can result in numerous actuation patterns and behaviors, giving students the opportunity to learn and practice engineering design through iterations. During the fabrication process, filled lines in the mold helped students control the amount of silicone elastomer and ensured that their mold was curing on a level surface. We inspected and evaluated a total of 54 grippers resulting from the classroom implementations. Soft robots are also mechanically robust and inherently safe for humans to interact with Laschi and Cianchetti, ; Abidi and Cianchetti, , as well as more affordable when compared to most traditional robots Polygerinos et al. Success was defined by completion of the design task: if a gripper could grasp and hold a golf ball for 5 s, it was deemed successful. Successful fingers and grippers designed and fabricated by students. Instead, in order to make conclusions, we situate this success rate in relation to motivational theory Vygotsky, and measured student outcomes self-efficacy that we have previously reported Jackson et al. Furthermore, even in the design of the full gripper, students may vary the number of fingers, thus customizing the gripper to effectively manipulate target objects of specific shapes, sizes, and weights. We further demonstrate the feasibility of the modular mold by implementing it in a soft robot design activity in classrooms and showing a sufficiently high rate of student success in designing and constructing a functional soft robotic gripper. Traditional robotics requires elements such as motors, gears, wires, and computer codes. Currently, there is no documented success rate for the previous soft robot gripper activity and, as a result, we are not in a position to draw comparisons. Figure 4. Furthermore, since our gripper inspection was performed after student testing and presentations, some grippers had already failed when we handled them. Taken as a whole and compared with previous mold designs, our modular mold provides much more design freedom and flexibility, as summarized in Table 1. Development of the modular mold and the measurement of corresponding success rate are foundational to this larger study, as initial success is critical for self-confidence and continued interest in engineering learning Bandura, , ; Britner and Pajares, ; Mamaril et al. While there are a host of educational robotics tools, such as Arduino, LEGO Mindstorms, Fischertechniks, and crowd-funded robotics startups emerging on Kickstarter, perhaps the most widespread implementation of educational robotics is through U. To test the performance of the modular mold, we implemented a soft robotics design activity through a design curriculum in four high-school classrooms, similar to some outreach activities that we had run in the past, as seen in Figure 4. Air leaks were usually caused by not applying enough liquid silicone elastomer around the cured silicone elastomer or on the fabric, leaving holes that prevent the grippers from inflating.