Inch by inch, this machine is leading soft robotics to a more energy efficient future

Written by
Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications
Bumper DeJesus, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Nov. 14, 2023

Princeton Materials Institute faculty Minjie Chen, Naveen Verma and James Sturm led team working on eViper project, which was supported in part by PMI.

Princeton researchers have developed a flexible, lightweight and energy efficient soft robot that moves without the use of any legs or rotary parts. Instead, the device uses actuators that convert electrical energy into vibrations that allow it to wiggle from point to point using only a single watt.

“Future robotic systems need high energy efficiency,” said Minjie Chen, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and one of the project’s principal investigators. “The eViper platform enables us to explore electrical, mechanical and power co-design to maximize the energy efficiency.”

Image by Bumper DeJesus