Amitabh Shrivastava

Programmable-Air is an easy-to-use open-source hardware kit that enables makers to control air flow for their DIY soft robotics projects. My thesis is to crowdfund this project and get it ready for small-scale manufacturing.


Soft Robotics is an emerging field that deals with making mechanisms out of highly flexible materials. It is gaining traction in academics with multi-million dollar investments because of emerging use cases in human-robot interaction and industrial automation. The field is still in its infancy. I believe that given the right tools, makers will have a lot to contribute to soft robotics. The aim of Programmable-Air is to provide makers with a tool to control air flow and in doing so, advance inflatable soft robotics.

I have already hand-made and sold over two dozen Programmable-Air beta kits to makers at institutes like UCLA and Microsoft. Academics and artists have used the kit to power projects such as- an inflatable bra, a sculpture about female sexuality, a Halloween prank, an inflatable seat-belt, lego-like soft grippers, and more! There is an increasing demand that can only be met by small-scale(i.e. thousands of units, not millions) manufacturing, which requires an exorbitant upfront investment. So, I am launching a crowdfunding campaign to make this tool available for the maker community.



Thesis Presentation Video