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'Sensorized' Skin Helps Soft Robots Find Their Bearings

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A "Sensorized" Skin

MIT researchers have created a sensorized skin, made with kirigami-inspired sensors, that gives soft robots greater awareness of the motion and position of their bodies.

Credit: Ryan L. Truby, MIT CSAIL

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have created "sensorized" skin to increase soft robots' awareness of their bodily motion and orientation. The sensors were fabricated from laser-cut strips of conductive silicone sheets inspired by Japanese paper art kirigami; the researchers bonded the stretchable sensors to a soft robotic arm resembling an elephant trunk equipped with fluidic actuators.

The researchers also designed a model to kinematically describe the robot's shape while greatly reducing the number of variables that needed factoring, mapping signal patterns from the sensors to real-world configurations. Tests indicated the robot's estimated shape matched the ground truth data for certain and steadier configurations.

From MIT News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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