2021 Soft Robotics

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Suzumori Koichi  Endo Gen  Niiyama Ryuma  Fukuda Kenjiro  Nakajima Kohei  Furukawa Hidemitsu  Hirai Shinichi 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
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Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

Soft robotics has progressed rapidly in recent years, and has become an important area and essential knowledge for students studying robotics. While conventional robots consist of a hard metal body, accurate servomotors, and precise programming, aiming for power, accuracy and reliability, soft robots consist of a flexible body, actuators and intelligence, realizing adaptability and robustness working in various situations. Basic concept of this new robotics and the latest research situation will be taught.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to explain about:
1) the basic concept and potential of soft robotics in comparison with conventional robotics,
2) the latest research status of soft robotics, and
3) the basics of mechanisms, electronics, materials, information processing, and biology related to soft robotics.


Soft robot, Soft actuator, Functional polymer, Biomimetics, Soft computing

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The instructors will explain each topics and concepts consisting of soft robotics on the aspects of design, mechanisms, electronics, control, material sciences, computer sciences and biology.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction to Soft Robotics Overview, basic concept, and biological analogy
Class 2 Elastic bodies Design, concept, and potentials of flexible body
Class 3 Flexible Electronics Flexible electronics design, current status, and applications
Class 4 Information processing in Soft robotics Information processing in Soft robotics, physical reservoir computing
Class 5 3D printing of Soft materials soft materials, gel, and their 3D printing
Class 6 Physics of soft bodies modeling and Physics of soft bodies
Class 7 Soft robot application Applications and potentials in the future

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Course materials are provided during class.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

To be uploaded on OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

Evaluated by home work reports.

Related courses

  • MEC.H434 : Advanced Course of Actuator Engineering
  • MEC.H531 : Robot Control System Design

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None required.

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