Autonomous, Self-Contained Soft Robotic Fish At MIT
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[Autonomous, Self-Contained Soft Robotic Fish At MIT]
[Daniela Rus (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science):] Source: LYBIO.net
We are developing soft bodied robots, and there three important things to know about these robots. First, their bodied are made out of soft silicon and they can bend and twist because of that. They are also inherently safe to be around. Second, because of their body’s capability to bend and twist these robots are capable of very compliant motion, and they are also capable of very rapid agile maneuvers, which pushes envelope on what machines can do today. And thirdly, the robots are self-contained and autonomous, in other words we can package the power source the computation and the actuation and sensing needed for these robots to deliver their motions.
[Andrew Marchese (Graduate Student):] Source: LYBIO.net
Traditionally, soft robots have been either self-contained of capable of high performance, but not both. So specifically in our lab, we want to achieve both of those goals simultaneously in one machine. Currently a soft robot has two parts, one a little bit smaller is the rigid part, where we store all the supporting hardware, and the second part a little bit larger is the soft body, where all the continuous natural movement happens.
And so when we thought about it a fish made sense, it has a very similar structure, in the head of the fish, where the brains are held it’s a little bit more rigid, but in the rear of the fish where the undulatory motion happens it’s quite soft and compliant.
This is our soft robot fish, like we said it has a soft body here in green and the supporting hardware upfront, and the way this fish works is it stores fluid onboard in the form of a gas and then releases its gas through a series of pipes and valves into the body, and if you think about it, its very similar to blowing up a balloon.
In that case your mouth would be the pressure source and the balloon would the body actuator and basically by inflating and un-inflating different parts of the body we can get it to ungulate. What is special about this fish is that it has its brains onboard too, so if I from my computer tell the fish to move forward a signal is sent wirelessly through the water to the brains and then the brains tell the hardware what to do in order to move forward.
Biological fish use the escape maneuver or the C turn to escape prey, and they do these maneuvers very fast in on the order of a 100 milliseconds. Our robot fish is also able to execute the escape maneuver at the same speed on the order of a 100 milliseconds.
[Andrew Marchese:] Source: LYBIO.net
The fact that our fish can perform an escape maneuver is really important for the field of soft robotics; it shows that soft robots can be both self-contained and capable of high performance. The maneuver is so fast and it’s got such high body curvature that it shows soft robots might be more cable than hard robots in some tasks.
Autonomous, Self-Contained Soft Robotic Fish At MIT. And so when we thought about it a fish made sense. MIT Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.