Peer Review

Paper Reviewed:

Development of A New Soft Robotic Module Using Compressed Air and Shape Memory Alloys

M. N. Golchin, A. Hadi and B. Tarvirdizadeh. Development of A New Soft Robotic Module Using Compressed Air and Shape Memory Alloys. In 2021 9th RSI International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics (ICRoM), Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of. 517-522.

Conference: International Conference on Robotics and Mechatronics (ICRoM)

Conference Guidelines Link

Peer Review

1. Do you have any conflict of interest in reviewing this paper?

No. I do not have a conflict of interest with this paper or its authors.

2. Expertise. Provide your expertise in the topics area of this.

2 – Passing knowledge.

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

This paper discusses the design and deployment of a robotic module device utilizing both pneumatic and SMA actuators. The design stems from pneumatic actuators commonly seen in the field of soft robotics, and attempts to improve upon this design by integrating SMA actuators — a technology specifically popular within the medical robotics field — with the purpose of both increasing the device’s degrees of freedom, as well as improving the device’s accuracy when moving.

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

Strengths: In terms of results, this paper definitely feels strong. Based on the paper’s introduction, the premise of combining these two specific actuation methods is relatively untouched in the field of soft robotics, and the results this paper boasts could have large implications on the field, especially with regard to medical robots. The conclusion and results are well-written and clear.

Weaknesses: The paper was not the most well-written, especially in the less technical portions such as the introduction. Additionally, a large amount of the experiment itself felt very hand-wavy; specifically large portions of the design were skipped over. One specific reference appears to have informed many design decisions, however, this reference is not discussed in the paper and it is not clear how the results of that paper and the goals of this one interact. The testing procedure itself was also not very well documented as figures for PSI, voltages, and control algorithms were not discussed.

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

The ideas behind this experiment and ensuing results are technologically sound. Many methods and procedures deployed were not detailed, so it is harder to say whether or not it is methodologically sound, but there were no immediately apparent red flags.

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

No, this paper cites references multiple times but rarely makes clear what information was taken from it. It also goes into very little detail about the paper which appears to have heavily informed design decisions, saying “Based on the analysis of actuator cross-sectional shapes” without specifying what analysis they’re referring to. Much of the background information in the introduction is poorly written, vague, and generically listed.

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

The paper is well-organized. I would not say that it is well-written as it lacks content in many sections, as well as has some poorly written and confusing parts. Only some parts of the paper are clearly presented, like the results discussion, but others are ambiguous and not organized in a digestible way, such as the design section.

8. Suggestions. Do you have suggestions for improving this paper?

Yes. This paper would be greatly improved by adding a more comprehensive discussion of its references, especially those which directly informed decisions made during the design and testing processes. It should also elaborate on the testing process, and including better-labeled diagrams and any additional graphs/charts which would help better communicate their findings. Overall, it could also benefit from being edited for conventions.

9. Comments to Committee. Does this paper have enough originality and importance to merit publication? Is the paper relevant to the field?

I believe that the findings of this paper are original and important to the field of soft robotics, however, ultimately, I believe that the results are muddled by the poorly written nature of the paper. I believe that this paper should not be published as is, but, if heavily edited/partially rewritten, would be relevant and important enough to the field to warrant acceptance.

10. Overall Rating. Provide your overall rating of the paper.

2 or 3 – I definitely would not argue for this paper to be published, however, I’m hovering between indifferent and inclined to argue against it. I believe that, with heavy rewriting, it should be accepted but not as it stands currently.

Leave a Reply