Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio - Robotic Skins that Turn Inanimate Objects into Multifunctional Robots
From Kathryn Gentilello on September 13th, 2018
Robots generally excel at specific tasks in structured environments, but lack the versatility and adaptability required to interact with and locomote within the natural world. To increase versatility in robot design, my research group is developing robotic skins that can wrap around arbitrary deformable objects to induce the desired motions and deformations. Robotic skins integrate actuation and sensing into a single conformable material, and may be applied to, removed from, and transferred between different objects to create a multitude of controllable robots with different functions to accommodate the demands of different environments. We have shown that attaching the same robotic skin to a deformable object in different ways, or to different objects, leads to unique motions. Further, we have shown that combining multiple robotic skins enables complex motions and functions. During this talk, I will demonstrate the versatility of this soft robot design approach by showing robotic skins in a wide range of applications—including manipulation tasks, locomotion, and wearables—using the same 2D robotic skins reconfigured on the surface of various 3D soft, inanimate objects.