Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have created "sensorized" skin to increase soft robots' awareness of their bodily motion and orientation. The sensors were fabricated from laser-cut strips of conductive silicone sheets inspired by Japanese paper art kirigami; the researchers bonded the stretchable sensors to a soft robotic arm resembling an elephant trunk equipped with fluidic actuators.
The researchers also designed a model to kinematically describe the robot's shape while greatly reducing the number of variables that needed factoring, mapping signal patterns from the sensors to real-world configurations. Tests indicated the robot's estimated shape matched the ground truth data for certain and steadier configurations.
From MIT News
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