Robots have primarily been made with rigid time-invariant materials, actuators and sensors. Even wearable robotic systems that augment the human musculoskeletal system have tended to be made from rigid materials and transmissions. Yet the biological systems that robots seek to emulate or augment use materials, actuators and sensors that incorporate soft and adaptive materials in ways that allow them to be more mobile, dexterous, versatile, robust and even social.
A new generation of robotic systems that are based on soft and adaptive materials is emerging. These soft robotic systems not only exhibit improved performance but can be simpler, more reliable, cheaper and safer than traditional robotic systems. Wearable robotic "exosuits" can be more comfortable and less constraining than their rigid counterparts. This talk will present specific examples of progress in soft robotics highlighting the presenters' own research in muscle-like actuators, strategies for applying forces to the human body, electroadhesive griping and electrolaminate stiffness-adaptive structures.
Roy Kornbluh, is a Principal Research Engineer in SRI International’s Robotics Laboratory. Mr. Kornbluh has more than 25 years of experience at SRI and has contributed to and led a wide variety of projects to develop new electromechanical transducers for walking, crawling and flying robots as well as other systems. He is one of the principal inventors of the dielectric elastomer type of electroactive polymer artificial muscle transducer technology that was pioneered by SRI and commercialized by Artificial Muscle Inc.. Mr. Kornbluh is also a principal inventor of the electrolaminate type of mechanical metamaterial that is being applied to a variety of applications in robotics, aerospace and biomechanics. He is the author or coauthor of more than 50 publications in the areas of polymer actuators and robotics, and holds more than 30 patents in these areas. He served on the IPC of the SPIE Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices Conference and is an associate editor for the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. Mr. Kornbluh has an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. In the early 90s, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador where he helped improve rural water and sanitation systems.
NOTE: New meeting location:
Building G (across the street from Menlo Park City Hall)
Laurel St and Mielke Dr (This an intersection.)
Menlo Park, CA
(also this is walking distance from the Menlo Park Caltrain station)