Katharine Bacher

Katharine  Bacher
MIT EECS | Angle Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Daniela L. Rus
Department: EECS
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

Soft-Robotic Third-Arm Assistant

abstract:Soft robots promise greater degrees of freedom and safer interaction with humans. Expanding on the lab’s previous work with fluid-driven, origami-inspired artificial muscles, we will build a soft-robotic arm that attaches to a user and can manipulate surrounding objects. The arm will be made from foam artificial muscles with internal geometries designed to bend when negative pressure is applied. We will develop an on-board power-and-pump system to provide a controllable pneumatic pressure source. An optical curvature sensor will be designed to detect the bending angle and provide feedback. We will investigate a reliable user-control interface to command motion. This project will demonstrate human interaction with soft robots, a step towards making robots ubiquitous in everyday lives.

"I am participating in SuperUROP to further develop high-level research skills and continue to learn about and contribute to the field of soft robotics. I am excited to design, build, and code my own soft robot creation and take ownership of a project. After working on a UROP in soft robotics for the past year, I want to take my research to the next level and apply what I have already learned to further advance my group and field of study."