Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Patent No . : US 9 , 962 , 832 B2


Kwok et al .

Appl. No.: 14/768,389


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.