CRL Student Projects in Plush Robotics

Interested students please email: jamesmbern@gmail.com

Plush Robotic Locomotion

Background Locomotion remains an especially challenging problem in soft robots. Plush robots are a particularly exciting platform for exploring soft robotic locomotion, because plush robots possess a high strength to weight ratio, and are capable of quite large deformations.

Project Description This project will be focused on making plush robots that can walk. If a student's interests are more low-level, this project could involve designing new internal mechanisms, and identifying appropriate materials and approaches to fabrication. If a student's interests are more high-level, this project could involve designing tendon routing and locomotion strategies, using our in-house simulator.

Relevant Skills This project will involve basic mechanical design (Solidworks/CATIA), and sewing and machining (3D printer, laser cutter). Proficiency in C++ will be helpful, but is not essential.

NOTE: Interested students with excellent design skills would be supported in improving the actuation system.

NOTE: Interested students with excellent programming skills would be supported in improving the simulator.

Plush Robotic Shape Sensing

Background  One of the major selling points of soft robots (of which plush robots are a specific instance) is that they are capable of continuous, organic deformations. However, because a soft robot has an essentially infinite number of degrees of freedom, reliably sensing a soft robot's shape remains a very challenging problem.

Project Description This project will be focused on making plush robots that can sense their own shape. This project will involve hands-on experimentation with novel electro-mechanical sensing hardware. Students will have the opportunity to build their own experimental test cases.

Relevant Skills The project will involve basic mechatronics (Arduino). Ability to pick up basic hands-on crafting/machining skills will be helpful. General programming proficiency will be helpful.

NOTE: Interested students with excellent programming skills would be supported in implementing their own strategies for shape sensing.