A highly welcomed webinar entitled “Dutch Soft Robotics: Gripping on Natural objects” with 150 participant from all over the world was held on September 29 jointly by agROBOfood, Hollands Robotics and Dutch Soft Robotics Community. In this webinar researchers discussed Agrofood market demands for soft robotic technologies (SRT), potential of soft Robotics in the marked, challenges ahead as well as Nature-inspired and engineering-based solutions.
4TU Dutch soft robotics is an interdisciplinary consortium consisted of 4 Technical Universities (i.e. Wageningen University & Research, Delft University of Technology, University of Twente and Eindhoven University of Technology) aimed to solve the technological challenges in AgroFood domain.
In this webinar Herman Van Der Kooij represented the 4TU Soft Robotic Consortium. Erik Pekkeriet described the potential of SRT in Agrofood Industries. Furthermore, researchers have introduced their latest results in soft robotic field. Ali Leylavi Shoushtari (FTE) has present a systematic approach toward a versatile soft robotic system through 1- design and development of novel soft robotic components (i.e. sensors, actuators and interfaces) and 2- developing learning capabilities for robots. Paul Breedveld has presented recent research on design and development of a bio-inspired flexible mechanisms as well as commercialization and application in biomedical robotics. Gerwin Smith presented challenges and solutions of design, development and control of a robotic hand. Dimitra Dodou shows recent findings in adhesion properties of tree-frog toe pad and importance of inter-structural fiber reinforcement in bio-adhesion. She presented working principle of an engineered adhesive pad working based on the tree frog-inspired concept and its potential application in delicate crop harvesting e.g. mushroom and strawberry.
The webinar ends by following conclusions: The ideas and findings in biomedical robotic research has the potential to be implemented in the agri-food domain and vice versa. Agrofood domain has its own particular technological constraints. Developing SRTs with respect to these constraints will make Soft robotics an enabling technology in this domain.