Getting a Grip: in Materio Evolution of Membrane Morphology for Soft Robotic Jamming Grippers

by   David Howard, et al.

The application of granular jamming in soft robotics is a recent and promising new technology offer exciting possibilities for creating higher performance robotic devices. Granular jamming is achieved via the application of a vacuum pressure inside a membrane containing particulate matter, and is particularly interesting from a design perspective, as a myriad of design parameters can potentially be exploited to induce a diverse variety of useful behaviours. To date, the effect of variables such as grain shape and size, as well as membrane material, have been studied as a means of inducing bespoke gripping performance, however the other main contributing factor, membrane morphology, has not been studied due to its particular complexities in both accurate modelling and fabrication. This research presents the first study that optimises membrane morphology for granular jamming grippers, combining multi-material 3D printing and an evolutionary algorithm to search through a varied morphology design space in materio. Entire generations are printed in a single run and gripper retention force is tested and used as a fitness measure. Our approach is relatively scalable, circumvents the need for modelling, and guarantees the real-world performance of the grippers considered. Results show that membrane morphology is a key determinant of gripper performance. Common high performance designs are seen to optimise all three of the main identified mechanisms by which granular grippers generate grip force, are significantly different from a standard gripper morphology, and generalise well across a range of test objects.


page 1

page 3

page 4

page 5

page 7


Optimised Design and Performance Comparison of Soft Robotic Manipulators

Soft robotic manipulators are attractive for a range of applications suc...

Shape, Size, and Fabrication Effects in 3D Printed Granular Jamming Grippers

Granular jamming is a popular soft actuation mechanism that provides hig...

Exploring Mechanically Self-Reconfiguring Robots for Autonomous Design

Evolutionary robotics has aimed to optimize robot control and morphology...

Vibration Improves Performance in Granular Jamming Grippers

Granular jamming is a popular soft robotics technology that has seen rec...

Control and Morphology Optimization of Passive Asymmetric Structures for Robotic Swimming

Aquatic creatures exhibit remarkable adaptations of their body to effici...

Numerical analysis of pit-to-crack transition under corrosion fatigue using a stochastic pit generation algorithm

Corrosion fatigue is a major threat to the integrity of marine structure...

Robotic Untangling of Herbs and Salads with Parallel Grippers

The picking of one or more objects from an unsorted pile continues to be...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset