Soft connection mechanism
We developed a connection mechanism for soft modules based on electroadhesion that improves connection efficiency in a wide range of module softness (e.g. from 30 to 130kPa-1), confers high tolerance to misalignment (e.g. the attractive force decreases less than 40% for 70% misalignment) and allows for easy detachment. This mechanism does not reduce the softness of the module membrane, is suitable for light-weight modules (<10g) and could be useful for stochastic modular robotic systems. Stochastic robotic systems are promising in reducing module size and scaling systems to large numbers.
(Left) Module mockup featuring electroadhesion, (right) two modules connected.