(Top: uninflated tentacle Bottom: inflated tentacle)
I made a soft robotics tentacle that can easily be made at home without any specialized equipment or training. It is made by bonding three separate extending actuators in pyramid shape.
The tentacle is an easy and affordable soft robotics project for beginners. The molds are made from ballpoint pens, only take a few minutes to make and do not require any careful measurements. A single trial size unit of Ecoflex 00-50 contains enough rubber to make over 40 tentacles. This makes it an ideal project for schools or STEM camps to introduce students to the field of soft robotics.
(One of the three molds used to make the tentacle)
The tentacle takes about 7 hours to make if the rubber cures at room temperature. However, the fabrication time can be reduced to one hour if the rubber is allowed to cure at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is a tutorial on how to make the tentacle.