Human Augmentation Group@JAIST

xBalloon: Animated Objects with Balloon Plastic Actuator

Haoran Xie, Takuma Torii,Aoshi Chiba, Ping Zhang, Genki Kakihana, Qiukai Qi
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST)


In this work, we focus on the controllable soft actuators with inflatable structures because they are soft thus safe for human computer interaction. We propose a soft actuator design, called xBalloon, that is workable, inexpensive and easy-to-fabricate. It consists of daily materials including balloons and plastics and can realize bending actuation very effectively. We used xBalloon to animate a series of common objects and all can work satisfactorily. We further verified the user experience about the the fabrication and found that even those with no prior robotic knowledge can fabricate xBalloons with ease and confidence. Given all these advantages, we believe that xBalloon is an ideal platform for interaction design and entertainment applications.




video: [Youtube](AH2021)
video: [Youtube](RoboSoft2021)


  • Haoran Xie, Takuma Torii, Aoshi Chiba and Qiukai Qi, xBalloon: Animated Objects with Balloon Plastic Actuator, 12th Augmented Human International Conference (AH2021), 2021.05. (accepted)LINK
  • Qiukai Qi, Shogo Yoshida, Genki Kakihana, Takuma Torii, Van Anh Ho, Haoran Xie*, BPActuators: Lightweight and Low-Cost Soft Actuators by Balloons and Plastics, 4th IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft), communications, 2021.04 (accepted). [Conference][Arxiv]
  • Haoran Xie, Hiromu Matsuzaki and Takuma Torii. xClothes: Augmenting Human Thermoregulation Using Shape Changing Clothes. Augmented Human 2020, full paper, Canada, 2020.05.LINK
  • 千葉蒼司, 張萍, 垣花元貴, 鳥居拓馬, 謝浩然, AirFab:動的造形可能な簡易型ソフトアクチュエータ, インタラクション2021, インタラクティブ発表, 東京, 2021.3 LINK (PDF)
  • 垣花元貴, 千葉蒼司, 張萍, 鳥居拓馬, 謝浩然, 動的造形可能な簡易型ソフトアクチュエータAirFabの開発, 電子情報通信学会HCGシンポジウム2020, インタラクティブ発表, オンライン開催, 2020.12 LINK(PDF)
  • Media

  • プラ・風船で曲がる簡易アクチュエーター 北陸先端大が開発, 日刊工業新聞, 2021.05. [LINK]
  • Acknowledgements

    This work was supported by JAIST Research Grant, and JSPS KAKENHI grant JP20K19845 and JP20J15087, Japan.

    Related Projects

    xLimb: Wearable Robot Arm with Storable and Extendable Mechanisms (2021)
    NaviChoker: Augmenting Pressure Sensation via Pneumatic Actuator (2021)
    xClothes : Augmenting Human Thermoregulation Using Shape Changing Clothes (2020)
    EgoSpace : Augmenting Egocentric Space by Wearable Projector (2020)
    RESTAIL : A Wearable Tail Device For Augmenting Human Abilities (2019)
    BalloonFAB: Digital Fabrication of Large-Scale Balloon Art (2019)