Soft Robot

Another recent technological development that means engineering has caught up with my visions from high school: the soft robot which comes from George M. Whitesides’ lab at Harvard.

UPDATE: Reading their paper and watching the video, their lab

  • printed a master mold in ABS using a 3D printer
  • then cast in “EcoFlex” (from Smooth-On). A vacuum chamber is used to pull bubbles out of the EcoFlex before it is poured into the mold.
  • The non-expanding backing is a different material.


However, after reading up on new techniques with 3D printing, I bet one could get similar results printing directly in the silicone goo! I know some have tried printing in caulking, for example with the Frostruder. Note caulking would probably be too stiff for this application… but maybe could be used as a flexible tube, or the less-flexible side? In a two-goo printer maybe?

See also:

Leave a Reply