Lockheed Martin Robotics Seminar: Rob Shepherd, "Scalable 3D fabrication of soft machines"
Friday, April 17, 2015
2121 JM Patterson
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Lockheed Martin Robotics Seminar
Scalable 3D fabrication of soft machines
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
For future applications of soft robotics, mass production of complex actuators that can apply high forces is necessary. In this lecture Shepherd will talk about rotational casting adapted as a new manufacturing method for soft actuators. The criteria for both mold design and material properties of the elastomeric precursors to produce networks of pneumatic channels are described. A cuboid soft actuator that can generate a force of >25 N at its tip, a near ten-fold increase over similar actuators previously reported is presented. Additionally, this manufacturing technique is used to fabricate a wearable assistive device for increasing the force a user can apply at their fingertips.
Rob Shepherd received his B.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2010) in Material Science at the University of Illinois where his research focused on developing polymeric and colloidal suspensions as 'inks' for 3D printers. He also fabricated microfluidic devices to synthesize single micron to millimeter scale parts (e.g., glass and silicon microgears). Concurrently to performing this research, he received his M.B.A. (2009) at U of I and started a company, worked with several other startups, and gained significant experience with the details of market research, financials, accounting issues, and legal aspects of entrepreneurship. In 2010, he continued his education as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University in George Whitesides's research group in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. In this group, he developed pneumatic actuators in soft elastomers that took the form of a machine capable of moving in multiple gaits: walking and undulating. These actuators have also been used for low-cost manipulators, and in concert with a microfluidic system for biomimetic camouflage & display.
This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs • Alumni