Soft limbs with anisotropic stiffness are common in nature and enable animals to solve a variety of tasks, including locomotion and manipulation. This mixture of hardness and softness enables animals to efficiently control the unpredictable contact forces that occur while performing such asks. A challenge for soft robotics is to create artificial limbs that mimic natural mixtures of hardness and softness for use as a building block for soft, adaptable robots. This article presents the design of a novel pneumatic limb module with adjustable length and anisotropic stiffness. The artificial limb is designed with a rigid telescopic endoskeleton inside a rubber bellow, which we show is able to resist buckling, while remaining externally soft. Finally, we present the design of a hexapod walker based on the limb units.
- Soft-Robotics, Variable-length, Pneumatic, Robosoft, Anisotropic-Stiffness