Credit: Delft University of Technology Researchers at TU Delft have developed highly programmable actuators that, similar to the human hand, combine soft and hard materials to perform complex movements.
These materials have great potential for soft robots that can safely and effectively interact with humans and other delicate objects.
VIDEO Credit: Delft University of Technology Programmable "We now present some new designs of ultra-programmable mechanical metamaterials where not only the actuation force and amplitude but also the actuation mode could be selected and tuned within a very wide range.
We also demonstrate some examples of how these soft actuators could be used in robotics, for instance as a force switch, kinematic controllers, and a pick-and-place end-effector," says Janbaz.
"We combined rational design approaches based on predictive computational models with advanced multi-material additive manufacturing techniques to 3-D print cellular materials with arbitrary distributions of soft and hard materials in the central and corner parts of their unit cells.
Using the geometry and spatial distribution of material properties as the main design parameters, we developed soft mechanical metamaterials behaving as mechanisms whose actuation force and actuation amplitude could be adjusted."