Date of this Version
Patent No . : US 9 , 962 , 832 B2
Reconfigurable soft robotic actuators with hard components are described. Magnetic attraction is used to couple flexible molded bodies capable of actuation upon pressurization with other flexible molded bodies and/or with hard components (e.g., frames and connectors) to form a seal for fluidic communication and cooperative actuation. Pneumatic decoupling chambers built into the hard components to decouple the hard components from the magnetically-coupled soft molded bodies are described. The use of magnetic self- alignment coupling and pneumatic de-coupling allows for the remote assembly and disassembly of complex structures involving hard and soft components. The magnetic coupling allows for rapid, reversible reconfiguration of hybrid soft-hard robots for repair , testing new designs, and carrying out new tasks.