A Review of Soft Robots

10/08/2019
by   Gideon Gbenga Oladipupo, et al.
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Traditional robots have rigid links and structures that limit their ability to interact with the dynamics of their immediate environment. For example, conventional robot manipulators with rigid links can only manipulate objects using specific end effectors. These robots often encounter difficulties operating in unstructured and highly congested environments. A variety of biological organisms exhibit complex movement with soft structures devoid of rigid components. Inspired by biology, researchers have been able to design and build soft robots. With a soft structure and redundant degrees of freedom, these robots can be used for delicate tasks in unstructured environments. This review discusses the motivation for soft robots, their design processes as well as their applications and limitations. Soft robots have the ability to operate in unstructured environment due to their inherent potential to exploit morphological computation to adapt to, and interact with, the world in a way that is difficult with rigid systems. Soft robots could be used for operations, ranging from search and rescue operations in a natural disaster relief effort, and of emerging interest is in the field of medical care as seen in personal robots.

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