Yonder Edge is Yonder Dynamics's in-house research and development lab and incubator for new ideas, with an emphasis on biomimetics. We are pioneering the intersection of social innovation, bioengineering, and robotics. Current projects include low-cost prosthetic joints, a pneumatic universal grasping hand for our URC rover, and a glove-operated robotic arm for remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and exoskeletons. Headed by Raghav Chanchani, many of this team's members also participate in URC Motions work. The team recently won $1000 from the Social Innovation Fund of UC San Diego for their project partnering with a Jaipur Limbs center in Zimbabwe on prosthetic joints.
We were approached by members of Rotary International associated with a Zimbabwe-based Jaipur Limbs center to develop the joints for people using Jaipur Limbs’s artificial legs. We centered our designs around limited maintenance, how well they mimicked human gait, and visual similarity to the human form. The ankle and knee prototypes were created with affordable and durable 3D printed components. The models are currently undergoing rigorous testing to see how well they mimic a natural motion on rugged inclines and declines, as well as testing for their reactions under various mechanical and environmental stresses. This project has wide social implications. It not only supports amputees by providing them with affordable mobility, but also works to eliminate economic strain and social stigma by allowing recipients to resume their role in their respective communities.
Yonder Edge decided to pursue the pneumatic universal gripper model for our next University Rover Challenge rover to overcome issues in the previous model’s dexterity and programming issues. Our pneumatic model is a good way to overcome these shortcomings by reducing the complexity of the program used to control the gripping portion of the arm and allowing the arm to hold objects, from paper clips to pottery, without additional attachments. Future models will include soft-robotic features; however, the current model makes use of a textured, thick balloon to retain its grip.
This is our most ambitious project and makes use of soft robotics for flexible actuation to mimic the human arm’s muscle structure and to accurately read the user’s hand gestures. The idea for this came in response to the difficulty individuals with muscular impairment experience on a day-to-day basis. However, the technology has research applications. It can allow drones to perform tasks with human dexterity while under direct control of an operator, leaving delicate procedures in human hands.
The Edge Team
The Edge Team
These are the faces behind the cutting-edge robotics projects of Yonder Edge.
Raghav is a fourth year biophysics major and the Edge team lead. His goal is to bring people closer together and apply technology in issues ranging from the societal to the biological. Raghav likes to dream big and loves to design and build things that seem impossible. Eventually he wants to work in applied biomimicry and informatics.
Kylie is a fourth year physics major in Eleanor Roosevelt College. She's interested in additive manufacturing, ultra faint dwarf galaxies, and intellectual property. In her spare time, you can find her playing defense for the UCSD Women's Lacrosse team!
Stuart is a second year studying nanoengineering with a focus in bioengineering. Eventually, Stuart wants to pursue a career in soft robotics and biomimicry. He is currently a barista at Audrey's Cafe and spends what free time he has taking pictures or weightlifting. He's originally from Vancouver, WA, has 3 tattoos (and counting), and loves the smell of cherry blossoms.
Mayuki Adam Sasagawa is a third year environmental engineer, swimmer, and cat lover. He is part of both the URC Motions team and the Edge team at Yonder Dynamics.
Gaby is a second year environmental chemistry major with a dance minor. Besides her work on the Edge team, she works with the URC Motions team developing the rover’s arm. In her free time, she likes to dance and eat pizza.
Anh is a senior student majoring in electrical engineering with a big dream of building affordable medical devices for low income communities. He also wants to participate in the “Battlebots” game show in the future. His hobby is watching movies and anime marathons.
Vanessa is a biophysics second year aspiring to build cool things and unravel the mysteries of life in the universe. During her internship at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she worked on developing an instrument for the microfluidic analysis of ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus. She also enjoys jazz piano, film photography, and trying new foods from different cultures.
Nick is a fourth year who studies Speculative Design. He spends his time working on projects, recreating props from his favorite games and movies. He is fascinated by manufacturing processes and aspires to work in robotics and industrial design to invent new ways of making new things. He also works at Earls market and has a pet snake named Kim-chi.