A Dual-origami Design Enables the Quasi-sequential Deployment and Bending Motion of Soft Robots and Grippers
Soft fluidic actuators produce continuous and life-like motions that are intrinsically safe, but current designs are not yet mature enough to enable large deployment with high force and low-cost fabrication methods. Here, soft fluidic actuators with two superimposed origami architectures are reported. Driven by a fluid input, the presented dual-origami soft actuators produce quasi-sequential deployment and bending motion that is guided by unsymmetric unfolding of low-stretchable origami components. The dominance between the deployment and bending can be shifted by varying the unfolding behavior, enabling pre-programming of the motion. The proposed origami-inspired soft actuators are directly fabricated by low-cost fused deposition modeling 3D-printing, and subjected to a heat treatment post-processing to enhance the fluid sealing performance. Finally, soft gripper applications are presented and they successfully demonstrate gripping tasks that each requires strength, delicacy, precision and dexterity. The dual-origami approach offers a design guidance for soft robots to embody grow-and-retract motion with a small initial form factor, promising for applications in next-generation soft robotic systems.