Soft robotics is an emerging field that approaches robots in new ways, enabling them to operate in environments that are unstructured or unstable and to perform tasks that require delicacy and malleability. It's all about engineering with soft materials -- silicone, cloth, balloons, flexible plastics -- and combining them in different ways to come up with novel, approachable, and surprising solutions to interesting problems. This book introduces soft-robotics concepts to students, inventors, and makers with easy-to-understand explanations and hands-on DIY projects. The projects use a wide range of tools and techniques -- including microcontrollers, 3D printing, laser cutting, mold making, casting, and heat sealing -- to create intriguing soft robots and devices. It is tinkering at its finest!
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Matthew Borgatti is a maker, designer, and engineer. You may have seen monsters he's built, printed objects he's released, or watched videos he's made. Chances are there's one of his passports hanging around at your hackerspace.
He is the founder and lead scientist at Super-Releaser, an open source soft robotics company dedicated to building the technologies that bring the robots out of the lab and into everyday life. They develop products, manufacturing methods, measurement equipment, and applications for soft robots. He earned a BFA in industrial design at RISD in '07. Between then and now he's built a fleet of plotter robots for Bond, worked on 5 books, developed projects in house for Instructables, built kite powered racers for Makani, designed the CNC curriculum at TechShop, and animated a TV series for NOVA.
Kari Love is a soft roboticist at Super-Releaser and teaches concepts from soft goods engineering at NYU's ITP. She has also contracted on NASA-funded space suit research, built Broadway costumes, made and dressed puppets, spoke at the White House representing a hacker space, and been a Zero-G bridesmaid. All improbable, but factual.
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