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Contact: Kathryn Ryan, 914-740-2100, kryan@liebertpub.com
Harvard Researchers Describe Pneumatic Actuator that Generates Cyclical Motion in Soft Robotics

New Rochelle, NY, July 18, 2017—A new study demonstrated the design, potential applications, and advantages of an innovative multi-chambered soft pneumatic actuator. Researchers described how the actuator generates cyclical motion and characterized its trajectory and the force it exerts in an article published in Soft Robotics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Soft Robotics website until August 18, 2017.

Coauthors Alar Ainla, Mohit Verma, Dian Yang, and George Whitesides, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA presented two sample applications of the actuator in the article entitled “Soft, Rotating Pneumatic Actuator”: delivering fluid through a needle while stirring; and mimicking the gait of a reptile to achieve locomotion. They identified several advantages of this novel method for achieving revolution of a central rod-like unit within a soft pneumatic actuator including no need for lubrication, no risk of bursting at actuation pressures above the operating specifications because it functions under negative pressure, and its ability to be used in operations that are sensitive to electromagnetic fields or use flammable liquids where an unshielded electric motor could cause interference or explosion.

"Working with soft machines presents enormous challenges in design and then in the technical aspects needed to build a working device. This report is an ingenious example of a device that leverages soft materials to operate in environments that would not be suitable for more traditional robots,” says Editor-in-Chief Barry A. Trimmer, PhD, who directs the Neuromechanics and Biomimetic Devices Laboratory at Tufts University (Medford, MA).

About the Journal
Soft Robotics, a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, combines advances in biomedical engineering, biomechanics, mathematical modeling, biopolymer chemistry, computer science, and tissue engineering to present new approaches to the creation of robotic technology and devices that can undergo dramatic changes in shape and size in order to adapt to various environments. Led by Editor-in-Chief Barry A. Trimmer, PhD, and a distinguished team of Associate Editors, the Journal provides the latest research and developments on topics such as soft material creation, characterization, and modeling; flexible and degradable electronics; soft actuators and sensors; control and simulation of highly deformable structures; biomechanics and control of soft animals and tissues; biohybrid devices and living machines; and design and fabrication of conformable machines. Tables of content and a sample issue can be viewed on the Soft Robotics website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science, technology, and biomedical research, including 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing and Tissue Engineering. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.