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At Polymorf, I contributed to the SYMBIOSIS project.
My task involved designing and creating the soft robotics.

This project commenced with an in-depth exploration of soft robotics functionality. Through experimentation and prototyping involving diverse techniques and materials, the soft robotic units were personalized to suit the specific characters they were designed for.

The designs of the soft robotics were based on shapes and movements present within the VR experience. This was done in such a way that the characters were recognizable both from the outside and within the VR experience.

The soft robotics feature an aesthetic design on the exterior that mimics the characteristics of the character. Additionally, the inward-facing side also incorporates a design to establish a connection with the character itself.

The soft robotics and the control of air pressure are engineered to realize tactile sensations for the character, allowing for a more immersive experience. This includes capturing the posture, the use of different muscles and organs, breathing, and even the energy flow, which plays a significant role for some characters.

My designs were developed within Blender. I created a positive mold of the form to discuss it with my employer. Once the form was finalized, I crafted the inner design to determine the inflation. I ensured that the shape aesthetically expanded outward. For the inside, I considered the desired sensation we wanted to achieve and the additional resistance provided by the pressure against the body.

To cast the design, I created a mold with the negative form. Numerous considerations came into play during this process. The mold had to be 3D-printable, snugly fit, clippable, able to drain excess silicone rubber, and capable of vacuuming to prevent air bubbles.
 

To secure the soft robotics in place, I designed holders. It was also essential for the soft robotics to be airtight. To achieve this, I employed various techniques to clamp the air supply between the holders.

After completing the design phase, I converted the Blender files into 3D-printable formats. Subsequently, I utilized these printed molds to cast soft robotic air pockets. I securely affixed the air pockets to the holders, incorporating the air supply. Through iterative prototyping, I achieved airtight integrity for all soft robotic components, ensuring they functioned seamlessly to enhance the overall experience.