Soft toys powered by knitted tendons offer a novel exploration into soft robotics.
Developed by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University using specially created software and computationally controlled knitting machines, the plush objects are created with the tendons already embedded. The plush objects can then be stuffed and the tendons attached to motors, resulting in a soft device that can move when triggered (such as giving hug motion when poked in the stomach).
According to Ph.D. student Lea Albaugh, "Soft robotics is a growing field. The idea is to build robots from materials that are inherently safe for people to be near, so it would be very hard to hurt someone. Actuated soft components would be cheap to produce on commercial knitting machines.”
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