Our IGERT students are working on projects ranging from liquid
electronics to crowd-sourced robot control strategies.
Using Social Media to Crowdsource Control Strategies for Soft Robots
Whitney Crooks, PhD
candidate in Mechanical Engineering
Barry Trimmer, Biology
A web-based platform for a soft-bodied robot was developed. Users
could sign in with their social media accounts in order to sign up
for 30 minute time slots to control the robot. While users were
controlling the robot and competing for fastest time from start to
finish, Whitney collected information on what controls were being
input, and also tracked the robot as it traversed the arena.
Although a critical number of users was not reached, preventing the
fastest controls from being determined, it was determined that users
averaged a 1.351 s actuation time for SMA1, a phase gap of 0.554 s,
and an actuation time of 1.174 s for SMA2. The magnitude of the
Softworm's velocity was an order of magnitude smaller than expected,
and the reason for that was not determined. However, the
SoftRobotics website did demonstrate that crowdsourcing can provide
an avenue for solving control problems for soft robots.
Softworm connected to an Arduino
R3 with a MotoProto Shield and
running off a 9V battery.
||Softworm in arena with LEGO
robot, which follows the Softworm
and resets it to the start position
if necessary. The Arduino R3 and
MotoProtoShield are mounted to the
top of the LEGO robot.
|Softworm in arena with a LEGO
robot that follows the Softworm
through the maze in order to carry
the Arduino and MotoProto Shield
communicating with the Softworm and
to reset the Softworm if necessary.
The computer to the right tracks the
Softworm and generates HTML, which
is sent out to the website. |