Electro-Magnetic Soft Actuators
Over the past five years, we worked on initial prototypes that demonstrated multi-functionality in soft robots. We developed Wormbot, a soft robot that uses voice coils for actuation (locomotion) and communication. We particularly focused on fully-integrated systems in which all components resided within the soft body, as opposed to soft robots in which control elements are external to the robot.
- Using Voice Coils to Actuate Modular Soft Robots: Wormbot, an Example
M.P. Nemitz, P. Mihaylov, T.W. Barraclough, D. Ross, A.A. Stokes
Soft Robotics, 3(4), 198-204
- Linbots: Soft Modular Robots Utilizing Voice Coils
R.M. McKenzie, M.E. Sayed, M.P. Nemitz, B.W. Flynn, A.A. Stokes
Soft Robotics, 6(2), 195-94
Electro-Magnetic Swarm Robots
We also developed the HoverBot system, a swarm robotic platform that uses planar coils for actuation. In this work, we allowed robots to hover on a specialized platform and interact (via their planar coils) with permanent magnets that were embedded into the platform. Our approach led to a robot swarm in which robots did not possess mechanical parts, but were comprised of circuit boards only. We also started integrating Hall-effect sensors onto our robots and using magnetic field readings to improve the perception of robots. HoverBots were able to detect collisions, movements (odometry), and rotations by analyzing its measurements of magnetic fields.
- HoverBots: Precise Locomotion Using Robots That Are Designed for Manufacturability
M.P. Nemitz, M.E. Sayed, J. Mamish, G. Ferrer, L. Teng, R.M. McKenzie, A.O. Hero, E. Olson, A.A. Stokes
Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 4, 55
- Multi-Functional Sensing for Swarm Robots Using Time Sequence Classification: HoverBot, an Example
M.P. Nemitz, R.J. Marcotte, M.E. Sayed, G. Ferrer, A.O. Hero, E. Olson, A.A. Stokes
Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 5, 55
Electro-Magnetic Soft Sensors
Electro-magnetism and elastomeric polymers can also be effectively used for the development of sensor systems. We integrated soft channels (which we subsequently filled with liquid metal) and a RFID chip into an elastomeric polymer. This device is a wireless stretch sensor in which the soft channels act as antennas. Stretch leads to a change in resistance (of the antenna), which leads to a shift in resonance frequency of the RFID circuit. Our system does not require external power, which makes it extremely suitable for the development of smart clothing.
- Soft Radio-Frequency Identification Sensors: Wireless Long-Range Strain Sensors Using Radio-Frequency Identification
L. Teng, K. Pan, M.P. Nemitz, R. Song, A.A. Stokes
Soft Robotics, 6(1), 82-94
- Integrating Soft Sensor Systems Using Conductive Ink
L. Teng, K. Jeronimo, T. Wei, M.P. Nemitz, G. Lyu, A.A. Stokes
Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 28(5), 054001