ResearchResearch Areas
Soft Material Robotic Systems

SOFT MATERIAL ROBOTIC SYSTEMS

Soft and flexible: the robots of the future

In the research area Soft Material Robotic Systems (SMRS), we deal with robotic structures made of soft and compliant materials, which - in contrast to their counterparts made of hard materials such as steel or aluminium - exhibit inherent safety in direct contact with humans.

Soft and flexible: the robots of the future

In the research area Soft Material Robotic Systems (SMRS), we deal with robotic structures made of soft and compliant materials, which - in contrast to their counterparts made of hard materials such as steel or aluminium - exhibit inherent safety in direct contact with humans.

With the help of materials that have a similar stiffness to human tissue, the risk of injury during interaction between humans and robots is significantly reduced. Other potential areas of application are in medical technology or exploration robotics. However, the increased active and passive adaptability of soft structures not only offers great potential, but also presents researchers with new challenges with regard to the design, modelling and control of soft robotic systems.

The focus of the last few years at match was and is the development and implementation of a framework that includes the design optimisation and kinematic modelling of soft pneumatic actuators. Future research projects can draw on this work that has already been done. With the simulation framework, starting from an actuator design, the geometry or material parameters can be adapted with the help of a genetic algorithm in such a way that, for example, the greatest possible curvature of the soft actuator can be realised. The algorithm and the simulation are based on an interface between MATLAB and the FEM software Abaqus. Additionally, the MATLAB - Abaqus interface is used to derive real-time kinematic models in the form of artificial neural networks.

In order to further exploit the potential of soft material robotic systems in the future and overcome existing challenges in development, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has launched the Priority Programme (SPP) "Soft Material Robotic Systems" at match's initiative. Since August 2018, research institutions across Germany have been working on research into soft robotic systems. Research focuses include the use and synthesis of new functional materials, the development of soft actuators and sensors, the modelling of soft systems and their control. 

CONTACT THE RESEARCH AREA

M. Sc. Jan Peters
Research Staff
Address
An der Universität 2
30823 Garbsen
Building
Room
212
M. Sc. Jan Peters
Research Staff
Address
An der Universität 2
30823 Garbsen
Building
Room
212