Open source soft robotic quadruped with many applications

Pt and Limor write, "The Glaucus, named after the Blue Sea Slug (Glaucus Atlanticus), is an open source soft robotic quadruped from Super-Releaser. It is a proof of concept for a method developed at Super-Releaser that can reproduce nearly any geometry modeled on the computer as a seamless silicone skin. The company hopes to apply these same techniques to practical problems in medicine and engineering as the technology develops. The 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."

When your quadruped has had a chance to dry out, it's time to give it a test drive. Stick the tubes from your sphygmomanometer pumps into the holes in the back of the quadruped, make a ring with your fingers around the back of the quadruped, and try inflating it. Look over the robot while it's inflating to check for air bubbles or problem spots that could use more adhesive. You could put a zip tie around the back of the quadruped to do some more thorough tests without having to glue any additional pieces on.

Once you're satisfied with the inflation, it's time to glue on the final part: the luer seat. Start by inspecting the back of the quadruped and doing a dry fit. Chances are you'll have to take a pair of wire cutters and open up the holes in back a bit. The quadruped should sit all the way into the luer seat without too much manhandling. When you're satisfied with the fit, clean up the whole area that will be glued with some rubbing alcohol on a q-tip.

Take a little paintbrush and coat the whole interior of the luer seat with Sil-Poxy. Try to get a even coat so that it won't glob up in places disturbing the quadruped's fit. When it's ready, ease the back of the quadruped in and set the quadruped up in the corner between a table and a wall to hold the seat on straight. When the glue dries in about an hour, you should have a working quadruped on your hands.

Hook up your luer fittings to some lengths of hose, twist those luers into the back of the bot, and you're ready to play around.

Soft Quadruped Robot

(Thanks, Pt and Limor!)