Exercise 4

H. J. Yoo et al., “Wearable Lymphedema Massaging Modules: Proof of Concept using Origami-inspired Soft Fabric Pneumatic Actuators,” 2019 IEEE 16th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), Toronto, ON, Canada, 2019, pp. 950-956, doi: 10.1109/ICORR.2019.8779525.

Do you have any conflict of interest in reviewing this paper? A “conflict of interest” is defined as follows:


Expertise. Provide your expertise in the topic area of this paper.

2 – Passing Knowledge

Summary. Please summarize what you believe are the paper’s main contributions to the field of soft robotics.

This paper presents wearable modules that help massage swelling in lymphedema patients. It builds upon soft robotics that are foldable and lightweight.

Strengths and Weaknesses. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of this work? Does the paper have strengths in originality and novelty?

The paper’s strength can be found in the focus on the use of soft robots to solve a very specific problem. They approach their work with tests that present the directions of force that their robots push upon the patient’s nodes. The paper also helpfully explains their problem space before diving into the details of the research. The weakness is that at some points the paper repeats the same points which makes some parts feel redundant. 

Soundness. Are the ideas, algorithms, results or studies technologically/methodologically sound?

This research uses origami soft fabrics, which have been presented in previous research. Although I don’t understand how technologically sound their prototypes are, their methodology shows data that convinces me that their claims are sound. The research shows many diagrams that consider important factors such as temperature, folds, and pushing force.

Related Work. Does the paper adequately describe related and prior work?

The paper connects to many other approaches to soft robotics on wearable medical devices. It mentions soft robotics that have been used to support heart function as well as movement for physically disabled patients. However, besides these, the paper does not reference other papers often nor does it describe them in detail.

Presentation. Is the paper well organized, well written and clearly presented?

The paper paces its figures well and is very concise. The text is well formatted and there are no concerns for readability.

Suggestions. Do you have suggestions for improving this paper?

This research paper could be improved if it further elaborated on where their project lies in context to other medical wearable soft robotics. Without these clear references, it’s hard for me as a reader to understand the extent to which the researchers are creating something novel.

Does the paper have enough originality and importance to merit publication? Is the paper relevant to the field? 

The folding explores how folds can create force, which is an interesting approach that is original. It presents relevant exploration to new ways that soft robotics can engage with other objects, which is more original than soft robotics that explore new ways to maneuver.

Overall Rating: 4 – I would support this paper, as they made it clear the value of their robotics to lymphedema patients. However, at a robotics conference, it would be difficult to argue that it contributes a lot to existing robotics research.

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