Exercise 4: Peer Review

J. Lee and K. Cho, “Development of magnet connection of modular units for soft robotics,” 2017 14th International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots and Ambient Intelligence (URAI), Jeju, 2017, pp. 65-67, doi: 10.1109/URAI.2017.7992886.

  1. Do you have any conflict of interest in reviewing this paper? A “conflict of interest” is defined as follows:
    1. Ph.D. thesis advisor or advisee
    2. Postdoctoral advisor or advisee
    3. Collaborators or co-authors for the past 48 months
    4. Any other individual or institution with which the investigator has financial ties
    5. Yes/no. If yes, please disqualify yourself instead of proceeding. 
  1. Expertise. Provide your expertise in the topic area of this paper.
    • 4 – Expert
    • 3 – Knowledgeable
    • 2 – Passing Knowledge
    • 1 – No Knowledge
  2. Summary. Please summarize what you believe are the paper’s main contributions to the field of soft robotics.Please write a short paragraph. 
    1. The paper poses that modularization is one of the efforts to expand the field of soft robotics. However, one of the main issues with that process is the connection of connecting the different components together. They propose the idea of magnetic connectors, similar connector mechanisms exist for traditional robots and can already be utilized with existing soft robotics research. Using a single chamber that can be bent through pneumatic actuation, the connectors utilize neodymium magnets to connect to other parts.  
  3. Strengths and Weaknesses. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of this work? Does the paper have strengths in originality and novelty?Please write a short paragraph. 
    1. Strengths of this paper is the universality of applying magnets as connection points. The idea of utilizing magnets to connect to different modules of soft robots seems very useful and the material can be incorporated to a variety of other projects if need be. They also tested the shear direction, which showed results that the air chambers themselves would bend instead of breaking the magnetic connection. Because of this strong connection, perhaps there is an opportunity space for the 1:1 connection to incorporate more branches, allowing for the connections of more modules and greater flexibility in results. Disassembly and reassembly seems simpler than incorporating a screw-thread/hardware assembly. Some weaknesses the lack of documentation of how the connectors can be incorporated with the connection to other parts. There isn’t any documented tests done on other forms that are connected to the connectors, instead the tests are only done with one connecter to another. This could lessen the impact of their original pitch, which was for the connectors to serve as a connection of one module to another. Another concern is the use of the circular magnet and its ability to rotate on the axis of connection, potentially including some hardware components in addition to the magnet could prevent some shifting of parts from occurring.
  4. Soundness. Are the ideas, algorithms, results or studies technologically/methodologically sound?Please write a short paragraph arguing for the strengths and weaknesses of the work. 
    1. The algorithms as well as the ideas used to create the connector parts seem sound. The tests on the tensile machine seem well founded, however the paper could go into more detail of what the different pressure states led to in results. The fabrication process was well documented and seems efficient. Generally however, the documentation of how the connectors bend and operate seem sufficient for the reader to imagine the results the connectors could provide.
  5. Related Work. Does the paper adequately describe related and prior work?Please write a sentence or short paragraph. 
    1. The paper discusses prior work involving screw head connectors and presents this solution as a way to comparatively easily disassemble/reassemble tests. They reference past works enough for the reader to understand the product’s journey.
  6. Presentation. Is the paper well organized, well written and clearly presented?Please write a sentence or short paragraph. 
    1. The paper is well organized and has various visual documentation to aid with comprehension. 
  7. Suggestions. Do you have suggestions for improving this paper?Please write several paragraphs detailing specific points of the paper which merit reconsideration. Be sure to address the text, figures and tables, mathematics, and grammar and spelling. 
    1. Some suggestions to improve this paper is providing video footage of the bending process and the flexibility to connect to various other parts and affect pneumatically-actuated change. Generally giving an idea of how this can impact the soft robotics world within the conclusion would also benefit the paper. There are no seem grammatical or spelling errors.
  8. Comments to Committee (Hidden from authors). Does the paper have enough originality and importance to merit publication? Is the paper relevant to the field? These comments will NOT be sent to the authors:Please write one or more paragraphs as needed to justify your review judgement. 
    1. This paper definitely merits publication, it can serve as a way to encourage other research to be done on connectors for modular soft robotics. Overall the paper does a great job of detailing the importance of these connectors within the field of soft robotics.
  9. Overall Rating. Provide your overall rating of the paper (5 is best)
    • 5 – Definite accept: I would argue strongly for accepting this paper.
    • 4 – Probably accept: I would argue for accepting this paper.
    • 3 – Borderline: Overall I would not argue for accepting this paper.
    • 2 – Probably reject: I would argue for rejecting this paper.
    • 1 – Definite reject: I would argue strongly for rejecting this paper.

Leave a Reply