Researchers Develop What May Be ‘The Holy Grail of Soft Robotics”

Published by , July 25, 2016 5:37 am

(EurekaMagazine) Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (HSEAS) have developed an actuator could be used in everything from wearable devices to soft grippers, laparoscopic surgical tools, entirely soft robots or artificial muscles in more complex robotics. “We think this has the potential to be the holy grail of soft robotics,” said Mishu Duduta, a graduate student at HSEAS.
Dielectric elastomers, soft materials that have good insulating properties, could offer an alternative to pneumatic actuators but they currently require complex and inefficient circuitry to deliver high voltage as well as rigid components to maintain their form— both of which defeat the purpose of a soft robot. The HSEAS researchers’ dielectric elastomer is claimed to overcome these obstacles.

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