Soft robotics workshop announced for Inspirefest Fringe 2017

1 Jul 2016

Following his impressive talk at this year’s Inspirefest, it has been confirmed that Dr Dónal Holland is to run a soft robotics workshop at next year’s Fringe festival.

On Inspirefest‘s second day, those attending the Transforming Health panel were introduced to Dr Dónal Holland, who, as a lecturer in biomechanics at the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, has done extensive work in the field of soft robotics.

While our first train of thought when it comes to robotics is hard steel and whirring machinery, soft robotics takes energy, 3D printing and sturdy but flexible materials and turns them into useful tools, particularly within the prosthetic limbs field.

Future Human

Taking to the stage at Inspirefest, Holland spoke of some of the recent successes of the Soft Robotics Toolkit, a free resource available online for anyone – whether they’re in school or an established engineer – to use to develop soft robots.

Here’s some we made earlier

Having recently returned from Peru where a workshop was held with high school students, Holland revealed some of the projects were developed in the space of a few hours with robots built from cardboard and glue.

Among the projects developed were a soft robotics piece that would be placed in a teddy bear that would hug someone back when pressure was applied to its chest, as well as a device that would help someone perform CPR.

And, speaking on stage, Inspirefest’s founder Ann O’Dea confirmed to the audience that Holland was to return with a dedicated workshop at the Fringe festival for Inspirefest 2017.

So, in the meantime, check out some of the cool things that have been created using the Soft Robotics Toolkit that you could get to try out next year!

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic