The objective of this research was to develop and implement an elastomer solenoid capable of generating underwater jet propulsion for soft robot actuation. This is significant in pushing forward the progress of soft robotics by proving the viability of a new soft actuation method in addition to proving the viability of using silicone and magnetic particles as the driving mechanism for a soft actuator.

The two primary aims were to effectively manufacture an elastomer solenoid core and to incorporate that core with a flexible diaphragm that actuates when a voltage is applied. This combination creates a pulse of water that is pumped out of an orifice. In practice, this was a success. The propagated magnetic field in the elastomer core was very apparent in air and displacements of 2.7 cm could be achieved for a 100 mm wide diaphragm. Underwater, the added damping force of the fluid limited the displacement of the diaphragm, however; the final device was able to pump water at 250 ml/min out of an orifice.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Robots--Motion; Jet propulsion; Elastomers--Mechanical properties; Solenoids--Design and construction

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard

Advisor/Committee Member

Hany Ghoneim

Advisor/Committee Member

Mark Kempski


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes