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Page last updated: 11/23/2018

Commentary by S.D. Kaehler

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10/20/18: This month's meeting a great group. About 35 people showed up to talk about robots. The meeting started later than I intended but moved along once we got going.

Keep working on your robots. Work on robots to compete in Robothon

Don't forget to check the new "Special Events" page that captures events of interest to SRS members. It will have links to specific events as well as online calendars. Please let me know if there are items to be added.

We started off with this YT video about Boston Dynamic robot called "Uptown Spot".

Let me know if the Useful Links page is useful and if it's missing anything important. We still have some Robothon T-Shirts available for $20. SRS Polo shirts are now available at meetings for $30 (card, cash, or check). See Steve K., Lloyd M., or Carol H. during the break or after the meeting.

Take some time to look through some Encoder articles from 1991 to 1995 on the Encoder article page. They provide a fascinating look at the history of the SRS, how robotic technology has evolved, and some timeless tips that are as useful today as they were 20+ years ago. I don't think you'll be disappointed. More articles are coming soon.

Round-the-Room

Meeting Pictures on Google Photos.

  • Dick -
  • David -
  • Tom -
  • Steve - YT videos:

Feature Presentation

Professor John Swensen of Washington State University in Pullman presented:

Soft Robotics: Robots that interact with and act like soft tissue" via a Google Hangout.

Presentation Abstract: Soft robotics and compliant robotic mechanisms have achieved great popularity in the past decade within the academic community. This soft robotics approach is in stark contrast to the traditional paradigm of large, heavy, rapidly-moving robotics in isolated environments. The soft-robotic approach has shown a lot of promise because their compliant nature lends itself well to safety concerns in co-robotics environments and exhibits adaptability and robustness to uncertainty, such as in robotic grasping. However, this same intrinsic compliance in soft robotics is also its biggest pitfall — in many scenarios it is unable to exert necessary forces and control manipulator shape under external loading. This talk will present some of the methods Dr. Swensen’s lab has taken to create soft robotic materials that can switch between acting like traditional rigid robotics and modern soft robotics. Additionally, he will talk about some of his recent work on the interaction between soft robots (like medical needles and catheters) and the soft tissues in which they operate. One particularly promising application is in waterjet-directed steerable needles.

The Workshop

The afternoon workshop was lightly attended but still happened.

If you have comments or opinions on this writing, please email me at SeattleRoboticsSociety(at)Gmail.com.

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