Rapid Prototyping of Pneumatically Actuated Inflatable Structures

Ghosal, R., Rana, B., Kapur, I., Parnami, A.

Fabricating and actuating inflatables for shape-changing interfaces and soft robotics is challenging and time-consuming, requiring knowledge in diverse domains such as pneumatics, manufacturing processes for elastomers, and embedded systems. We propose in this poster a scheme for rapid prototyping and pneumatically actuating piecewise multi-chambered inflatables, using balloons as our building blocks. We provide a construction kit containing pneumatic control boards, pneumatic components, and balloons for constructing simple actuated balloon models. We also provide various primitives of actuation and locomotion to help the user put together their desired actuator, along with an Android app and software API for controlling it via Bluetooth. Finally, we demonstrate the construction and actuation of these inflatable structures using three sample applications.


Radhika Ghosal, Bhavika Rana, Ishan Kapur, and Aman Parnami. 2019. Rapid Prototyping of Pneumatically Actuated Inflatable Structures. In The Adjunct Publication of the 32nd Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST '19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA.