Automated Synthesis of Pneumatic Bending Soft Actuators

Highlights

  • We present an automated method for the discovery of pneumatic bending soft actuators

  • We incentivize the discovery of actuators which are simultaneously compliant and forceful using custom fitness functions

  • We fabricate bending soft actuator and compare its performance to published results

An Expressive Representation

Our method hinges on a compact, expressive representation of actuator geometry. All the designs below are generated using the same computational network topology - only network weights and biases are modified to achieve the breadth of morphologies below!

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Results

  • We compare the performance of a selection of automatically designed actuators in simulation, along with a empirical performance of a fabricated sample, with a selection of published results. While the automatically discovered actuator is not Pareto-dominant, it shows similar performance to related results while requiring no human design effort. All designs were discovered using 300 core-hours of compute time.

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