Abstract – A pneumatically powered, fully untethered mobile soft robot is described. Composites consisting of silicone elastomer, polyaramid fabric, and hollow glass microspheres were used to fabricate a sufficiently large soft robot to carry the miniature air compressors, battery, valves, and controller needed for autonomous operation. Fabrication techniques were developed to mold a 0.65-meter-long soft body with modified Pneu-Net actuators capable of operating at the elevated pressures (up to 138 kPa) required to actuate the legs of the robot and hold payloads of up to 8 kg. The soft robot is safe to interact with during operation, and its silicone body is innately resilient to a variety of adverse environmental conditions including snow, puddles of water, direct (albeit limited) exposure to flames, and the crushing force of being run over by an automobile.

M.T. Tolley, R. Shepherd, B. Mosadegh, K.C. Galloway, M. Wehner, M. Karpelson, R. Wood, G. Whitesides, “A Resilient, Untethered Soft Robot.” Soft Robotics, 1(3):213-223, 2014.