Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Air-Powered Computer Memory Helps Soft Robot Control Movements

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
An 8-bit pneumatic RAM chip used to help a soft robot control its movements.

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, have unveiled an air-powered computer memory that can be used to control soft robots.

Credit: William Grover

A new air-powered computer memory can be utilized to control soft robots, thanks to engineers at the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside).

The researchers designed an 8-bit pneumatic random-access memory (RAM) chip that substituted microfluidic valves for electronic transistors.

The valves stay sealed against a pressure differential even when detached from an air supply line, generating trapped pressure differentials that serve as memories and maintain the states of a robot's actuators.

Dense valve arrays can conduct sophisticated operations and streamline the bulky, power-intense hardware typical of pneumatic robot controls.

The UC Riverside team incorporated the pneumatic RAM chip into a pair of three-dimensionally-printed rubber hands, and induced a robot to use them to play notes, chords, and an entire song on a piano by varying the mixture of atmospheric pressure and vacuum within the channels on the chip.

From UC Riverside News
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account