*This will be a HYBRID Event with in-person attendance in Wu & Chen Auditorium and Virtual attendance via Zoom Webinar here.
Soft pneumatic actuators have become a popular implement in modern robotic systems due to their intrinsic mechanical compliance, which affords researchers levels of robustness and adaptability that can be difficult to achieve in rigid-body, motor-driven devices. However, with the physical advantages of these versatile actuators come significant challenges in sensing, feedback control, and sustainable, portable powering that can limit their feasibility in real-world applications. This talk will highlight the engineering challenges of pneumatic actuation within the context of ongoing robotics research efforts in the ARM Lab, including the development of a soft, EMG-controlled robotic knee exoskeleton. The implications of new pneumatic actuation approaches on the future of smart, wearable human augmentation systems will also be discussed.