The soft robotics community is currently wondering what the future of soft robotics is. Therefore, it is very important to identify the directions in which the community should focus its efforts to consolidate its impact. The identification of convincing applications is a priority, especially to demonstrate that some achievements already represent an attractive alternative to current technological approaches in specific scenarios. However, most of the added value of soft robotics has been only theoretically grasped. Embodied Intelligence, being of these theoretical principles, represents an interesting approach to fully exploit soft robotic’s potential, but a pragmatic application of this theory still remains difficult and very limited. A different design approach could be beneficial, i.e., the integration of a certain degree of continuous adaptability in the hardware functionalities of the robot, namely, a “flexible” design enabled by hardware components able to fulfill multiple functionalities. In this paper this concept of flexible design is introduced along with its main technological and theoretical basic elements. The potential of the approach is demonstrated through a biological comparison and the feasibility is supported by practical examples with state-of-the-art technologies.

Embodied Intelligence in Soft Robotics Through Hardware Multifunctionality

Cianchetti, Matteo
2021-01-01

Abstract

The soft robotics community is currently wondering what the future of soft robotics is. Therefore, it is very important to identify the directions in which the community should focus its efforts to consolidate its impact. The identification of convincing applications is a priority, especially to demonstrate that some achievements already represent an attractive alternative to current technological approaches in specific scenarios. However, most of the added value of soft robotics has been only theoretically grasped. Embodied Intelligence, being of these theoretical principles, represents an interesting approach to fully exploit soft robotic’s potential, but a pragmatic application of this theory still remains difficult and very limited. A different design approach could be beneficial, i.e., the integration of a certain degree of continuous adaptability in the hardware functionalities of the robot, namely, a “flexible” design enabled by hardware components able to fulfill multiple functionalities. In this paper this concept of flexible design is introduced along with its main technological and theoretical basic elements. The potential of the approach is demonstrated through a biological comparison and the feasibility is supported by practical examples with state-of-the-art technologies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/541080
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