29 Nov '11, 1pm

Freaky Boneless Robot Walks on Soft Legs

Freaky Boneless Robot Walks on Soft Legs

There's just something about those bulbous air muscles that soft robots use that creeps me out, but it's hard to deny that as the designs get more and more refined, the robots themselves are getting capable enough to actually, you know, start doing stuff. Take this soft robot from Harvard, for example: it not only walks, it knows several different gaits and can deflate to stuff itself through tiny little gaps. Whoa, right? And there's nothing solid in there at all: You could probably smash this thing with a hammer a whole bunch of times and it would still keep coming for you. And that's part of the idea. The other part of the idea is that soft robots can adapt themselves to squeeze through gaps (as in the vid above) and otherwise get into places that robots with rigid structures might not be able to. This particular robot (which comes from George M. Whitesides ' lab at Har...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/military-robo...

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