Perhaps people fear robotics and automation simply because they’re not cuddly enough. It’s certainly an under explored aspect in the growing field of soft robotics. A team Carnegie Mellon is taking on the challenge by creating soft robots with knitting machines.
Cuddliness aside, the real goal here is the design robotic form factors that are lower cost, less dangerous and in some cases event wearable. The team is designing an automated process that adds tendons, which can connected to harder motors, in order to create movement. Examples include, no joke, “stuffed figures that give hugs when poked in the stomach and even a sweater with a sleeve that moves on its own.”
Down the road, the research could lead to more serious soft