Disney Research



We propose a computational design pipeline for pneumatically-actuated soft robots interacting with their environment through contact. We optimize the shape of the robot with a shape optimization approach, using a physically-accurate high-order finite element model for the forward simulation. Our approach enables fine-grained control over both deformation and contact forces by optimizing the shape of internal cavities, which we exploit to design pneumatically-actuated robots that can assume user-prescribed poses, or apply user-controlled forces. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method on two artistic and two functional examples.

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