This project directly addresses areas of need in the composites, garment and apparel, automotive, and food industries through a robotic solution for draping limp materials.


No commercial, turn-key system currently exists for direct 3D placement of limp materials (composites, textiles, etc.) in small and medium-sized manufacturing plants. Additionally, applications of existing EOAT designs are often narrowly focused, inflexible, and require large time and capital investments to realize. This project seeks to reduce the cost and risk associated with implementing 3D layup for new parts and geometries through the construction of a modular test cell for evaluating 3D placement techniques. The project includes evaluation of existing EOAT designs against a representative set of part geometries. Additionally, the project focuses on the creation of an “advisor” rubric and modeling approach for assessing the suitability of EOAT – geometry pairings.


Create turn-key robotic system for direct 3D placement of limp materials in small and medium-sized manufacturing plants.

Technical Approach

The expected project outputs include:

  • Construction of a modular robotic test cell for evaluation of 3D placement techniques
  • End effectors designed specifically to work with limp materials
  • Modeling and software related to draping limp materials


GE Global Research (Principal Investigator), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Vistex