The Glaucus: A soft robot quadruped

by gianteye, published

The Glaucus: A soft robot quadruped by gianteye Mar 24, 2014

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The Glaucus, named after the Blue Sea Slug (Glaucus Atlanticus), is an open source soft robotic quadruped from Super-Releaser { http://superreleaser.com }. It is a proof of concept for a method developed at Super-Releaser that can reproduce nearly any geometry modeled on the computer as a seamless silicone skin. The company hopes to apply these same techniques to practical problems in medicine and engineering as the technology develops.

The quadruped has hollow interior chambers that interdigitate with one another. When either of these chambers is pressurized it deforms and bends the structure of the robot. This bending produces the walking motion. It is similar to how a salamander walks, by balancing itself on one pair of legs diagonal from one another while moving the opposite pair forward.

UPDATE 8.16.16 - Glaucus development has been moved to this page https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1695577 Please refer to it for fabrication details and use its comment threads to post issues and discoveries.

UPDATE 1.17.15 - I've uploaded the body, combined, and internal geometry as stl's so people can download and print bots based on the Glaucus that don't use the same molding.

For more details:


Check the complete tutorial with detailed instructions, photos of the process, and a materials list here - http://learn.adafruit.com/soft-quadruped-robot-glaucus

These prints were designed for a Makerbot Replicator 2 in PLA using 3 shells and a 10% infill. Since these have long flat bottoms and large straight edges you will want to add mouse ears, rafts, or other features to prevent curling and distortion. My method was to print each part using mouse ears on the corners, and then hold them down with the springs from inside some laundry clips once the print head was high enough to avoid knocking into them.

These are large parts and build times range from 6-8 hours.

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It seems the luer fittings that you linked are out of stock on Amazon. Are there any other types/substitutes that I can use?

I've updated the thing to include STL's that define the body, internal, and combined geometry from the silicone bot. I'm eager to see what you can make using them.

Thanks you so much!

I think the ones I'm using are 3/16" hose barb x male Luer Lock fasteners. You can find some here http://www.amazon.com/Hose-Barb-Male-Luer-Lock/dp/B00CHOBE7A/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1421183169&sr=1-1&keywords=3%2F16+luer+lock&pebp=1421183172330&peasin=B00CHOBE7A

They come in most luer assortments you can buy, but sourcing just those components in small volumes can be a pain.

Interested to see someone print this with ninjaflex or similar. I like the idea of the prosthetic pain supporters tho, that looks like a good idea, your robot however, no I don't think that's something I would classify as a robot. An automated inflating balloon perhaps? :)

Are you the narrator from the Stanley Parable?!?!?!

Actually, the narrator is a guy from the BBC - Mark Ryes http://t.co/uxaLm3pO0Ehttp://t.co/uxaLm3pO0E

Don't think he did the Stanley Parable, tho.

I swear it sounds just like him...

Great to see these files up Matthew. We managed to repair the broken robotyou gave us and it is awesome. I just downloaded all your files to make our own. Almost 40 hours worth of printing later we should be ready to roll or should I say walk! LOL!

Thanks again for letting us visit and see your soft robot in action.

Excellent! I'm excited to see how the process goes. You'll likely be the first people to replicate this outside of my lab. If you want to clip the walls off the files it should reduce the print time by a huge margin. Me, I'm happy to let the machines do the work so I can line up molds later.

Be sure to ping me when you start casting that thing.

Great use of 3D printing.. solving problems.. This is on my list of projects to learn

Well, this just made my day. Super Releaser is now my go-to bunch of imaginary drinking buddies.