On June 23rd I presented at a Webinar about Soft agro-food robotics organized by IEEE Agricultural Robotics and Automation TC. Here you can find a short description of the webinar together with the recorded presentation.
Soft Robotics is a young yet promising field of research aimed to enhanced robots’ safety and adaptability while keeping them simple and affordable. In agro-food robotics, crops are usually delicate, having high variability (i.e. different shape, size, surface texture/roughness, and softness), and are affected by environmental conditions e.g. moisture and dust which makes them challenging to handle using conventional rigid robots. The above-mentioned features of soft robotics can significantly contribute to the robots’ versatility, making it a perfect solution for the agro-food robotic challenges. To achieve this goal, I tried to answer the question of how and to what extent soft robotics can enhance the versatility of robots, especially in grasping and manipulation. In particular, I did present two main approaches toward soft versatile robots i.e. engineering-based and bio-inspired design of novel soft robotic components with some research examples. For instance, I also presented some works on morphing grippers that can passively adapt to the object with complex shapes together with an active adhesive interface for safely handling delicate crops.
You can find the recorded presentation here: