Exercise 1: Soft Lego Building Blocks

I was interested in this research because the concept introduces a lower barrier of entry to those unfamiliar with the topic of soft robotics and also because of the flexibility in customization that the familiar semantics of the Lego blocks offers.

author={J. {Lee} and J. {Eom} and W. {Choi} and K. {Cho}},
booktitle={2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)},
title={Soft LEGO: Bottom-Up Design Platform for Soft Robotics},
abstract={This paper introduces soft LEGO for bottom-up design platform of soft robotics that can be used for various purposes, ranging from research and fast prototyping of soft robots to toys and entertainment. We integrated the interlocking mechanism of LEGO into a modular soft robot. With this design, soft robots could be built by a simple and play-like assembling process. Three kinds of components were proposed to make soft robotics compatible with LEGO: pneumatically inflatable soft brick, flexible bending brick, and channel brick. The soft brick has an air chamber and can generate motions when inflated. The bending brick has flexure and is bendable for generating motion when the assembled soft bricks are pneumatically actuated. The air channel brick has an air channel inside and works as an interface between air hoses and soft LEGO bricks. Detailed design parameters of the soft brick were optimized based on the Taguchi method with finite-element analysis to improve robustness. Design of the bending brick was selected based on experimental results to enhance the robustness of the flexure. Thanks to the multi-material 3-dimensional printer, the soft LEGO bricks could be fabricated with a single printing process. To see the feasibility of soft LEGO as a bottom-up design platform, a simple toy robot for children and a gripper that had a hybrid mechanism of hard and soft materials were built and tested. We hope this soft LEGO could lower the hurdle of soft robotics for children, researchers from other fields, and the public interest in robotics.},
keywords={assembling;bending;design engineering;finite element analysis;grippers;mobile robots;pneumatic actuators;rapid prototyping (industrial);Taguchi methods;three-dimensional printing;soft LEGO bricks;soft robotics;pneumatically inflatable soft brick;assembled soft bricks;bottom-up design platform;flexible bending brick;air channel brick;Taguchi method;finite-element analysis;multimaterial 3-dimensional printer;Soft robotics;Hoses;Actuators;Pins;Toy manufacturing industry;Joining processes},

Leave a Reply