This post contains an up-to-date list of all the Super-Releaser soft robot releases, their proper names, rev numbers, and accompanying documentation/downloads. Post in this thread with links to any experiments you've done with them, threads with questions and comments about them, and your own forks of the designs.
Designs marked with (P) are prototypes and don't feature much documentation or downloads. These designs either never fully functioned or were abandoned at some point in the design process.
Glaucus still in development
V 1 - Vertical Casting
This design is intended to demonstrate that you can cast nearly any arbitrary geometry successfully inside a seamless silicone skin. The experiments performed in the entire Glaucus series are aimed at perfecting techniques for taking nearly any complex design and recreating it in silicone. This first experiment features two hard outer shells printed out of MakerDust, bathtub molds that generate the tools to cast the interior waxes, and fastening structures to align the waxes allowing them to hang into the mold without colliding with the sides.
This design features three printed molds, one for aligning the wax into the first casting, and two that form the outer geometry of the quadruped. This was designed in an attempt to add greater predictability to the casting process, as small variations in wall thickness can end up causing huge variations in movement when the resulting part is inflated.
This design was nearly doubled in size to see if greater wall thicknesses and margins for error would improve the performance of the resulting bot. Although the scale change did simplify the casting process, the Z-Corp machines have trouble with large thin parts and the warp it introduced into the molds made casting hit-or-miss.
In an attempt to make the processes developed at Super-Releaser more open, less expensive, and more universally applicable, some experiments were carried out to see if the quadruped geometry first attempted in Z-Corp printed powder could be replicated in Makerbot PLA. These experiments have been remarkably successful, yielding robots and molds that are very predictable and do not break down with use. This design features ribbed cores that help transfer force perpendicular to the long axis of the inflating chambers
This quadruped has hollow interior chambers that interdigitate with one another. When either of these chambers is pressurized it deforms and bends the structure of the robot. This bending produces the walking motion. It is similar to how a salamander walks, by balancing itself on one pair of legs diagonal from one another while moving the opposite pair forward. All of the parts involved in the manufacture of this robot, from the molds to the luer fittings, were generated on a Makerbot Replicator 2.
V 1 - First Printed Prototype
These experiments were created to test the capabilities of James Bredt's printers over at Viridis3d. Their geometry later led to the first functional tentacle prototypes
This tentacle featured a one-part conical mold and printed internal geometry. There was no technique for removing the cores without rupturing the tentacle's base and OOMOO proved to be a poor material for inflation but it was a promising early test.
Some experiments were performed with various soluble core materials like corn starch and PVA. The corn starch had the drawback of being especially fragile, and the PVA was prone to expanding when it came into contact with the printer binder, which often caused it to catch on the print head and slide around producing warp while printing.
Designed by James Bredt
This tentacle features an inner wax core with a metal support rod and locking structures in the mold that join the rod jig to the printed outer shell. It is the first fully functional soft robot to come out of Super-Releaser and features in this presentation by Matthew Borgatti at CCC.
This tentacle was designed to have a simple core and outer block form with jigs to allow an artist to sculpt on top of the tentacle form, mold the sculpture, and cast the resulting tentacle with an inserted core to turn it into a functioning soft robot.
V 1 - First Pass (P)
This design was a first attempt at generating a soft robot arm that could move through 360deg on its own power. This design was abandoned due to mechanical flaws and a poor method of manufacture.
V 2 - Optimized for flat molding
This design is the first Super-Releaser soft robot to be under computerized pneumatic control. It features bathtub molding, printed parts originally made on James Bredt's hacked Z-Corp devices, and wax cores.
The major limitation for turning the successful trefoil tentacle design into a useful robot that could do practical, repeatable work is how little force is transmitted from the tentacle to anything it touches due to the silicone's elastic properties. Some rough tests showed that the force transmitted could be increased (to turn the design into a gripper or manipulating arm) by putting a MakerDust spine in the tentacle to limit the vertical extension with inflation.
V 3 - Bellows (P)
This design was an experiment in moving a soft robot with both positive and negative air pressure. It never went beyond the initial CAD, although experiments are slated to test more vacuum powered soft bots.
Dexter still in development
V 1 - Z-Corp Printed Hand (P)
This pneumatically actuated prosthetic hand was designed to feature cast-in bones, exploiting the porous nature of MakerDust printing to secure them into the silicone. The liquid silicone interpenetrates the MakerDust as long as it doesn't have too much plastic infill and they become irrevocably bonded. It also has parametrically generated molding using SolidWorks' Scan-to-3d tools to generate the hand form from MRI data.
V 2 - Miniature for Makerbot (P)
This design was scaled to fit inside a Makerbot Replicator2 build envelope. However, prints never executed fully on the device so the project got shelved until better molding architecture comes along.
Orthodic Cuffs still in development
V 1 - Tentacle Cuff (P)
This cuff is designed to slip over a person's arm to enable them to extend and control their elbow with an inflating soft actuator that sits in the crook of their arm. It has a single chamber ribbed structure much like the previous trefoil tentacle experiments. The intended use is for stroke therapy and muscular weakness due to MS or CP.
This cuff is designed to function much like V 1, except that it features a wide patch of inflatable silicone ribbing, rather than a central shaft.
Robot Gas Box
V 1 - Duty cycle based pneumatic control console
This is the control system for the soft robots designed by Super-Releaser. It contains an Arduino and a set of small solenoid actuated air valves.
For posts about your own soft robot designs. Look here for Super-Releaser official releases, robot downloads, and details on specific designs.
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