The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines presents “Robotic Skins that Turn Soft Objects into Multifunctional Robots” by Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio of Yale University. The event will be held in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and is open to the public.
Rigid-bodied robots generally excel at specific tasks in structured environments but lack the versatility and adaptability required to interact with and locomote within the natural world. To make decisive progress on this problem, my group is working towards a new approach: robotic skins that can wrap around arbitrary soft objects to induce the desired motions and deformations. With the addition of robotic skins, passive soft objects may be turned into active soft robots. Robotic skins integrate actuation and sensing into a conformable material system, and may be leveraged to create a multitude of controllable soft robots with different functions or gaits to accommodate the demands of different environments. During this talk, I will show our progress towards robust sensors and manufacturing processes that are compatible with the robotic skin framework. I will also show demonstrations of robotic skin prototypes in a wide range of applications—including manipulation tasks, locomotion, and wearables— using the same 2D-robotic skins reconfigured on the surface of various 3D soft, inanimate objects.
Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University. She earned a B.S. from the Johns Hopkins University, an M.S. from U.C. Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty at Yale, she was an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University for four years. Kramer-Botti currently serves as an associate editor and editorial board member of Frontiers in Robotics and AI: Soft Robotics. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the NASA Early Career Faculty Award, the AFOSR Young Investigator Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, and was named to Forbes’ 2015 “30 under 30 list.”