University of Maryland - College Park College Park United States
This projects goal is to construct a mathematical framework for real-time control of a soft robot system through dynamical modeling and sensor feedback. The dynamics and control framework will be validated on an experimental testbed to include soft, limbed robots powered by dielectric-elastomer actuators and shape-memory alloy. In contrast to their conventional rigid counterparts, soft machines and robots are elastically deformable bodies capable of extreme changes in shape and functionality. Progress in the nascent field of soft robotics depends on the ability to rapidly and faithfully model the dynamical state of a soft robot and incorporate this model into a feedback control for real-time path planning and locomotion.