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United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A pneumatically powered, fully untethered mobile soft robot is described. Composites consisting of silicone elastomer, polyaramid fabric, and hollow glass microspheres were used to fabricate a sufficiently large soft robot to carry the miniature air compressors, battery, valves, and controller needed for autonomous operation. Fabrication techniques were developed to mold a 0.65 meter long soft body with modified Pneumatic network actuators capable of operating at the elevated pressures (up to 138 kPa) required to actuate the legs of the robot and hold payloads of up to 8 kg. The soft robot is safe to handle, and its silicone body is innately resilient to a variety of adverse environmental conditions including snow, puddles of water, direct (albeit limited) exposure to flames, and the crushing force of being run over by an automobile.
TOLLEY, Michael T. (Cambridge, MA), SHEPHERD, Robert F. (Brooktondale, NY), MOSADEGH, Bobak (Boston, MA), WOOD, Robert J. (Cambridge, MA), WHITESIDES, George M. (Newton, MA)
14/ 755,026
June 30, 2015
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] The present invention was made with United States government support under Grant No. W911NF-11-1-0094 awarded DARPA and under Grant No. ER45852 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States government may have certain rights in this invention.