SOFT ROBOTICS | EXPLORING INFLATABLES, CABLE CONTROLS

GRAPPLING HOOK PROTOTYPE
The first section detailed cable controls, and in class we made prototypes of venetian blinds and cable controlled arms. In that exercise I learned that cutting slits in one side of a small place of the straw causes it to be able to bend in that place. For my exploration assignment, I used this technique to make a grappling hook prototype. I stuck with the simple materials we used in class- straws, buttons and string. I taped a few straws together and cut slits in one side of the same length of each straw. Then I threaded the straws with string and tied a button to one end of each string. Lastly I tied the other end of the strings together with a separate button. When the group of strings is pulled, the opposite side of the straw grouping bends outward and holds, forming a grappling hook until the strings are released.

GRAPPLING HOOK QUALITIES OF SOFTNESS
Soft - yes
Flexible - yes
Elastic - no

PROTOTYPE OF SOFT ROBOTIC ARM- RETRACTS INWARD AND UPWARD WHEN INFLATED

PROTOTYPE OF SOFT ROBOTIC ARM- RETRACTS INWARD AND UPWARD WHEN INFLATED

INFLATABLE ROBOTIC ARM PROTOTYPE
The second section detailed inflatables, and for my exploration I made an inflatable spiral arm prototype. It’s made of mylar and has a straw on the outside end that you can blow into to inflate it. When inflated it clenches inward and upward. When not inflated it’s flat and limp, and can be maneuvered like a ribbon. Taken together, this functionality could be used to grab something like a shoelace, or something fragile, both of which would be difficult for a claw to grab. It’s also lightweight, stowable, and portable. 

INFLATABLE ARM QUALITIES OF SOFTNESS
Soft - yes
Flexible - yes
Elastic - no