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72 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 intent in the IPC-2581C format is the better way to provide the detail needed to express design intent, resulting in a lower risk of mis- interpretation, and faster time to product. IPC-2581 Revision C has been enhanced to address the latest needs of the industry for easy, intelligent design data hand-off to man- ufacturing. It was worked on by the industry over a period, with many detailed discussions on how to address these needs. It builds on the well-established successes many companies have already had aer switching to IPC-2581. Visit for more informa- tion about companies that support it, test cases for revision A, B and C, as well as links to download free IPC-2581 readers from several companies. FLEX007 Ed Acheson is a senior princi- pal product engineer for Alle- gro PCB products at Cadence Design Systems, focusing on ECAD-MCAD (EDMD Schema), rigid-flex technology and Design True DFM. Figure 2: IPC-2581 Revision C also provides detailed information about the bend (type, direction, radius, and bend angle). by Daniel Ackerman, MIT News Office Working with computer simulations, MIT research- ers have developed a concept for a soft-bodied robot that can turn rigid on demand. The approach could enable a new generation of robots that combine the strength and precision of rigid robots with the fluidity and safety of soft ones. "This is the first step in trying to see if we can get the best of both worlds," says James Bern, the paper's lead author and a postdoc in MIT's Com- puter Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Roboticists have experimented with myriad mechanisms to oper- ate soft robots, including inflating balloon-like chambers in a robot's arm or grabbing objects with vacuum-sealed coffee grounds. However, a key unsolved chal- lenge for soft robotics is control— how to drive the robot's actuators to achieve a given goal. Until recently, most soft robots were controlled manually, but in 2017 Bern and his colleagues pro- posed that an algorithm could take the reigns. Using a simulation to help control a cable-driven soft robot, they picked a target position for the robot and had a computer figure out how much to pull on each of the cables in order to get there. A similar sequence happens in our bodies each time we reach for something: A target position for our hand is translated into contractions of the muscles in our arm. The researchers' paper lays out a way to simulta- neously control the position and stiffness of a cable- driven soft robot. The method takes advantage of the robots' multiple cables—using some to twist and turn the body, while using others to counter- balance each other to tweak the robot's rigidity. Bern emphasizes that the advance isn't a revolution in mechanical engineering, but rather a new twist on controlling cable-driven soft robots. (Source: MIT News Office) Helping Soft Robots Turn Rigid on Demand A simulated soft robot controlled to reach the same target (red dot) while acting either soft (left) or stiff (right).

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