Soft Particles for Granular Jamming

  • Fabrizio PutzuEmail author
  • Jelizaveta Konstantinova
  • Kaspar Althoefer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11650)


In the last decade, soft robots demonstrated their distinctive advantages compared to ‘hard’ robots. Soft structures can achieve high dexterity and compliance. However, only low forces can be exerted, and more complicated control strategies are needed. Variable stiffness robots offer an alternative solution to compensate for the downsides of flexible robots. One of the most common approach in the development of variable stiffness robots is the use of granular jamming. In this paper a variable stiffness manipulator based on granular jamming is studied. Here, we propose the use of soft and deformable spherical particles instead of commonly used rigid particles. Further on, we evaluate the performance of the soft particles under vacuum. In addition, a comparison between our approach and the standard approach to granular jamming is presented. The proposed soft particles show good performance in terms of their capability of compacting and squeezing against each other to achieve a high-stiffness robot arm.


Soft robotics Stiffness controllability Granular jamming Soft particles 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrizio Putzu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jelizaveta Konstantinova
    • 1
  • Kaspar Althoefer
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Robotics @ Queen MaryQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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