Soft Robots That Mimic Human Muscles

Soft Robots That Mimic Human Muscles

Published By: EFPL News (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), 10/18/2016

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An EFPL team is developing light robots called Soft Muscle, aiming to improve robot design.  The EPFL team’s ultimate goal in developing Soft Muscle is to provide inexpensive exoskeleton designs that will assist in creating lighter, more flexible robots for any application.

Extended Discussion Questions

  • The article describes Soft Muscle as a “human muscle–like” device. In what ways does Soft Muscle replicate the human muscle?
  • What other applications does Soft Muscle have besides physical therapy?
  • What are some potential positive and negative impacts of using Soft Muscle in a robot design?
  • The article mentions that the behavior of these robots is difficult to model accurately (i.e., it is difficult to anticipate how they will act in some circumstances). How might this impact the software that will drive these robots?

Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework

Global Impact Learning Objectives:

  • LO 7.1.1 Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
  • LO 7.2.1 Explain how computing has impacted innovations in other fields.

Global Impact Essential Knowledge:

  • EK 7.1.1L Computing contributes to many assistive technologies that enhance human capabilities.

Banner Image: “Network Visualization – Violet – Crop 11”, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on “Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0

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