Massachusetts Patent of the Month – August 2022

Soft robotics refers to the design of robots built from compliant materials instead of rigid links. This softer construction achieves more flexible bodies and gentle interaction with non-robotic objects. Soft Robotics, Inc. are experts in this subfield, known for their proprietary soft robotic grippers, 3D machine vision, and AI softwares.

Recently, the company has added to their list of technological offerings with a patented servo-pneumatic control system for soft robotic actuators. By using servo-pneumatic controls, the actuators can be fluidly controlled, maintaining a closed loop of pressure or fluid volume. The precision control ensures that whatever object is being grasped by the soft robotic grippers, there will be no deformation or harm. Alongside precision, the control system can have rapid response times. For instance, a collision can be immediately followed by release to prevent further damage.

Currently, their solutions are designed with food-grade robotic automation applications in mind. The use of precision, servo-pneumatic control and soft robotic grippers ensures there is enough control to grasp, lift, and move delicate and hard-to-grasp foods. Nearly anytime you take a little cupcake out of a plastic package, you can bet a robot placed it in there.

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