Soft Pumps


Pumps play an important role in driving soft robots and devices that work with fluids. Normally, pumps are rigid because they have an electromagnetic motor or a combustion engine inside, and may be not suitable for soft robots that require compliance in their overall structure.


Soft pumps


The device shown on the right consists of interdigitated electrodes and a channel filled with a dielectric fluid. In response to the applied voltage, the fluid molecules are ionized and attracted to the electrodes. This phenomenon generates a unidirectional flow, which makes the device function as a pump. Our soft pump is capable of generating flow even under bent and stretched states.

Cacucciolo, Vito, Jun Shintake, Yu Kuwajima, Shingo Maeda, Dario Floreano, and Herbert Shea. "Stretchable pumps for soft machines." Nature 572, no. 7770 (2019): 516-519.


Working principle of the soft pump


Soft pump developed in this study


Fluidic elastomer actuator integrated with a soft pump