Manufacturing & Prototyping
Tiny Stretchable Pump for Powering Soft Robotics
Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines’ moving parts. Scientists at EPFL have developed the first entirely soft pump – even the electrodes are flexible. Weighing just one gram, the pump is completely silent and consumes very little power, which it gets from a 2-cm by 2-cm circuit that includes a rechargeable battery. This tiny pump could play a big role in the development of autonomous soft robots, lightweight exoskeletons, and smart clothing. Flexible, silent, and small, it's poised to replace the bulky pumps currently used.