Equal Opportunities

Soft Robotics Team Embrace RoboSoft Competition 2024: A Showcase of Mobility and Manipulation Excellence

Get ready to witness innovation as the team from the DFG Priority Program 2100 gears up for the RoboSoft Conference 2024 in San Diego! With two self-designed prototypes, they're set to showcase the resilience and delicacy of soft robots in the Mobility and Manipulation Challenges. Stay tuned for updates on their journey and the groundbreaking strides they're making in the world of soft robotics.

The Gripper, developed for the Manipulation Challenge at the RoboSoft 2024.

Softrobot for the built by the team for the Mobility Challenge

The team, composed solely by female researchers at the SPP2100.

The DFG Priority Program 2100 on Soft Material Robotic Systems proudly announces the participation of a student team in the upcoming Competitionat the RoboSoft Conference 2024 in San Diego. The Competition is part of the annual IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics and focuses on showcasing the strengths of soft robots like resilience, body compliance, delicate contact, and deformability.

Our team, composed by Ditzia S. García Morales, Lucía Flores Sarco, Miriam Walter, Anna Elisa Leal and Lisa Kesting has successfully applied with two self-designed prototypes and will take part in both competition categories. In the first one, the “Mobility Challenge”, all participating teams will navigate their mobile robots through modular tunnels, earning points for successfully traversing tunnels filled with obstacles and difficult terrain. The tunnels, typically 8 feet long with a U-shaped cross-section, feature progress flags indicating the achievement of partial points. Bonus points are available for retrieving and transporting fruits found within certain tunnels to the manipulation zones.

For the second challenge, the “Manipulation Challenge”, the teams were asked to develop their own soft grippers that allow the manipulation of delicate fruits without damaging them. In each manipulation zone, a basket filled with fruits must be emptied into one of three destinations: a grocery bag, a bowl, or a plate. While fruits can be transferred directly to the grocery bag, there are additional tasks to fulfill before depositing into the bowl or plate, e.g. the banana should be peeled using the soft gripper before being placed on the plate.

When asked what they expect form the competition, the team expressed their eagerness to participate in it:

“It has been a great opportunity to exchange knowledge with other students from different backgrounds and improve teamwork and communication skills. It has been fun to develop a Gripper able to pass all the challenges and work out how to improve further for the competition in April. I am looking forward to meeting other teams and how they have developed their project to overcome the challenges proposed.”

With the participation of Ditzia, Lisa, Lucía, Anna, and Miriam, we take particular pride in forming an all-female team, given that the field of robotics and engineering is predominantly male-dominated. By funding the teams participation in the competition the DFG Priority Program 2100 supports young students to gather practical experience in the field of engineering and introduces them into the field of soft robotics. The team members will be able to improve and showcase their technical skills at an international event and also serve as an inspiration for aspiring young researchers.

Stay tuned for more detailed information about the robots and participants as the competition progresses. Follow us on social media and our website for updates and insights into the fascinating world of soft robotics.

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