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Soft Robots: Making Robot Air Muscles

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Step 3: Molding Muscle Segments

Picture of Molding Muscle Segments
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Cut Plastic Sheet
Two six inch squares of plastic 1/16" thick are bolted together with three small bolts and a 2" circle is cut on a scroll saw to make a mold.

Make Mold
One of the sheets is mounted on a piece of wood that has been sprayed with Lacquer to prevent sticking.

Mix Oogoo
A small batch of Oogoo is mixed by volume in a plastic cup. I used 1/2 tablespoon corn starch to 1 tablespoon 100% silicone caulk. If you want, you can add a small dab of artists oil paint to color it.

Screed The Oogoo
Rub an angled straight piece of plastic across the mold that is over filled with Oogoo, to create a 1/16" thick layer of Oogoo.

Add Polyethylene Air Spacer
A plastic circle is cut out of a plastic bag and placed on the smoothed first layer. It is cut at 1-3/4" to leave a gap around the edges of about 1/8"

Screed The Second Layer
The second sheet of the form is put in place and the second layer of Oogoo is screed-ed to seal in the plastic bag circle between the two layers. Once set up, the Oogoo will not stick to the bag creating a space for air to fill. A hole is later drilled through the plastic bag circle to introduce air to the finished segment.
 
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