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Soft buckling actuators

United States Patent

December 26, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A soft actuator is described, including: a rotation center having a center of mass; a plurality of bucklable, elastic structural components each comprising a wall defining an axis along its longest dimension, the wall connected to the rotation center in a way that the axis is offset from the center of mass in a predetermined direction; and a plurality of cells each disposed between two adjacent bucklable, elastic structural components and configured for connection with a fluid inflation or deflation source; wherein upon the deflation of the cell, the bucklable, elastic structural components are configured to buckle in the predetermined direction. A soft actuating device including a plurality of the soft actuators and methods of actuation using the soft actuator or soft actuating device disclosed herein are also described.
Yang; Dian (Cambridge, MA), Whitesides; George M. (Newton, MA)
President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA)
14/ 685,461
April 13, 2015
GOVERNMENT FUNDING CLAUSE This invention was made with support from the United States government under Grant No. DMR-0820484 awarded by the National Science Foundation, and Grant No. DE-SC0000989 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States government has certain rights to this invention.