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PneuBots is a modular soft robotics construction kit that includes seven types of high tensile strength self- foldable segments, three types of pneumatic connectors and splitters and a custom-designed box.

It is designed to support designers, artists and developers in their exploration by providing affordable, modular and programmable soft robotics kits that are programmable to their creative visions.

Figure1 (7in)x3 copy.jpg

Four different hinge (pattern) types were used to achieve different bending behaviours: linear, diagonal, diamond and wide-diamond. A linear module has a 5mm gap between each line, which causes axial contraction during actuation; as the volume of the inflatable expands, this gap grows and the height increases.

The diamond-shaped modules control the bending angle; the seam and hinge will continue to curve and bend until the volume of the inflatable is maximised. Finally, the diagonal pattern with a 5mm gap serves as the curling control, allowing you to change the orientation of connected modules.

Seven PneuBots modules with varying actuation behaviours, such as shrinking, curling, and bending, were created. The various heat-sealed design patterns on the modular blocks constrain their deformation to produce a specific shape change under inflation.

Each module can be connected to one or more identical or different modules, allowing a wide range of configurations, structures and applications to be explored. Each modular design features small, standardised units that can be independently combined in various configurations to create different forms and functions.


How It Works

<Harvard Graduate School of Design>
Participants in the class digitally designed their projects and later fabricated them on the Zünd machine. The process involved sealing patterns on layered TPU film using an ultrasonic welder attached to a Zünd Generic Application Module. The welded films were then inflated to observe their curved movements and changes in form.

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