Hao Sun, Ning-Yang Wang, Hao Jiang, and Xiao-Ping Chen


Honeycomb PneuNets, soft robot, stiffness control


Today, soft robots are getting increasing amounts of attention from robotics researchers. Traditional rigid linkage system robots have drawbacks, including that they are unsafe and heavy. These drawbacks are not easy to overcome without changing the basic principles of actuators and mechanism systems. Inspired by soft animals, some researchers have tried to create soft robots, which are totally different from traditional hard robots. Recently, a new soft robot concept called Honeycomb PneuNets (HPN) has been proposed, which is supposed to be more flexible and dexterous than traditional robots. In this paper, we first analysed this concept from a bionic view. Then, we fabricated a prototype and used it to achieve flexible movements. In our experiments, the robot showed that it can elongate and bend in any direction, and had excellent elongation and bending curvature rates. Furthermore, it could change its stiffness during the various movements. These flexible deformation abilities of HPN robots imply that it could be a new promising technology in soft robotics.

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