Community Corner: Master the Difficult Art of Soft Robots and 10 More Great Projects from the Adafruit Community!

Featured: Matthew Borgatti’s Robo-Tentacle Tutorial

Matthew Borgatti has done an incredible job writing up and sharing what he learned spending years investigating soft robotics in his Robo-Tentacle tutorial now added to the Adafruit Learning System: “Soft robots can potentially do a lot of jobs a hard robot made of steel and servos just can’t do. Something composed of soft, flexible structures and actuators might be able to burrow through the dirt like an earthworm, conform to complex objects like a human hand, and go huge distances on minimal power just like organic machines (bats, bugs, dolphins, etc) do. One reason you don’t see too many robots like these is how difficult they are to design, plan, and manufacture. Either they’re made of lots of interconnecting soft structures knitted together with glue and fasteners (each seam meaning additional labor, expense, and chances of breaking), or composed of a single skin. I’ve been poking at easier ways to manufacture soft robots and think that these single skin designs have a lot of potential. I think that making robots this way could lower their cost while increasing their strength and durability. I’ve been calling these single skin robots plionics….” (read more)

There are people making amazing things around the world, are you one of them? Join the 62,781 strong! And check out scores of projects they shared this week after the jump!

From the Google+ Community

(Note: Google+ login required.)

Mark Miller shared: “More on my homemade actuator project: I now have a complete lineup of actuators made in step sizes, including a new geared down microstepper drive. I needed a very slow powerful push in a tight space so I made one custom with enclosed case containing 100:1 gear reduction. These are great for very slow, fine control and is going to be used to run the cutting bit into the work for a CNC lathe. My first test application with the DC actuator was the robotic arm in the video-It was just a quick throw together to test durability and load capacity…. More fun soon to follow.” (read more)

Jochen Hebeler shared: “I built a class-D amplifier out of some diskret parts, op-amps and a mosfet H-Bridge. The image is the current LtSpice model an here is the video of the thing in action: Class D amplifier” (read more)

Giorgio Cerruti shared: “This is my (plus Silvio Cacamo‘s) new finished project. His name is SOCIALENGINE. This concept is powered with Arduino UNO + Raspberry PI. When you send a Tweet with specific mentioned user and hashtag, the gears rotate! On Raspberry Pi i have installed Raspbian + Node JS (for check the Twitter Stream and send input to Arduino) + Mongo DB. Next Saturday i present this on a MakerFaire @ Rome.” (read more)

João Macedo Google Creep crawler gait and a little gymnastics on the I

João Macedo shared: “Creep / crawler gait and a little gymnastics on the (I named it recently) pinocchio spider. (I don’t care if it has only 4 legs … It looks like a spider!). The super optimized inverse kinematics code for both body and legs is capable of running 100/second if needed in the arduino uno. One or two servos are a little jittery but it think it looks cool overall.” (read more)


Noe Ruiz of the Pixil3D team shared: “I designed a DIY 3D Printed MIDI controller. Available on thingiverse.” (read more)

Community Projects from the Adafruit Blog

Stuart Jones/FlatFootFox shared: “One night with the Adafruit Bluefruit and I’ve already prototyped a Bluetooth SNES Controller for the iPad. 😀 “(read more)

Han Lee/xoundbox shared a Wooden Pixel Display project on the Adafruit Forums: “Analog wooden blocks (1.5″x1.5″x3″ each) as digital pixels. 64 wood pixels in 8×8 make a form. One pixel might make you bored but it gives you something interesting when pixels make a form together. This WPD64 has been presented at a generative art show in NYC recently.” (read more)

Grant Gibson shared his “Biometric security toy box” project: “A couple of weeks ago Apple announced the new iPhone 5s with Touch ID, a fingerprint identity sensor that replaces the need for a conventional PIN number or password. It got me thinking… wouldn’t it be cool to make a lockable toy box with fingerprint access for my son’s toy car collection. At the heart of the system is an Arduino Uno and an Optical Fingerprint Sensor from Adafruit. The box uses a standard hobby servo as the latch to lock and unlock the lid based on the fingerprint detected.” (read more)


Luke Van Horn/Makenificent shared this great 3D printed wall mount project for our Ice Tube clocks kits in the Adafruit Support Forums: “3d printed wall mount. Great kit. Love it!!” (read more)


Teague Labs shared: “A simple skeletal 3D printable pen designed around the ‘Fisher Space Pen’ refill cartridge—including two cap designs, one that clips to a short stack of paper and another designed to clip onto any ‘Moleskine’ type sketchbook. This an older project I dusted off and polished up to work without building supports; the PenPrint’s ergonomics aren’t the best, but as a digital artifact and 3D printed object, it’s only a few iterations away… I want to point out that this design was purposely built around the ‘Fisher Space Pen’ cartridge; a forgotten artifact of US space exploration that expresses ingenuity, functionality and craft in its all-metal gas pressurized construction. And can still be found in most office supply stores for about $6—the same price per pen NASA paid back in 1967….” Thingiverse thing here. (read more)

Last week’s Electronics Show-and-Tell Video!

Electronics Show-and-Tell with G+ On-Air hangouts every Saturday at 9:30pm ET.

Want to show a project on an upcoming show and tell? Leave a comment on the show and tell announcement on Adafruit’s G+ page.

Adafruit Google+ Community Footer
Community Corner! Sharing and celebrating the creative community: Show and tell, Ask an Engineer, mailbag, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, “Makers, hackers, artists & engineers. Sharing, learning and celebrating making!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.