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3D-Printed Hydraulic Fluidic Logic Circuitry for Soft Robots

Yuxin LinXinyi ZhouWenhan Cao
Jan 2024
Fluidic logic circuitry analogous to its electric counterpart could potentially provide soft robots with machine intelligence due to its supreme adaptability, dexterity, and seamless compatibility using state-of-the-art additive manufacturing processes. However, conventional microfluidic channel based circuitry suffers from limited driving force, while macroscopic pneumatic logic lacks timely responsivity and desirable accuracy. Producing heavy duty, highly responsive and integrated fluidic soft robotic circuitry for control and actuation purposes for biomedical applications has yet to be accomplished in a hydraulic manner. Here, we present a 3D printed hydraulic fluidic half-adder system, composing of three basic hydraulic fluidic logic building blocks: AND, OR, and NOT gates. Furthermore, a hydraulic soft robotic half-adder system is implemented using an XOR operation and modified dual NOT gate system based on an electrical oscillator structure. This half-adder system possesses binary arithmetic capability as a key component of arithmetic logic unit in modern computers. With slight modifications, it can realize the control over three different directions of deformation of a three degree-of-freedom soft actuation mechanism solely by changing the states of the two fluidic inputs. This hydraulic fluidic system utilizing a small number of inputs to control multiple distinct outputs, can alter the internal state of the circuit solely based on external inputs, holding significant promises for the development of microfluidics, fluidic logic, and intricate internal systems of untethered soft robots with machine intelligence.
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