13 Aug '12, 9am

Soft, autonomous robot mimics movements of earthworm.

MIT researchers have engineered a soft, autonomous robot that mimic's the way earthworm's creep along the ground by alternately squeezing and stretching the muscles along the length of their bodies. Developed in collaboration with Harvard University and Seoul National University, the Meshworm robot is made up almost entirely of soft materials and in testing was able to inch away unscathed after being stepped on and even bludgeoned with a hammer. The researchers believe it could be of use in many applications, such as next generation endoscopes, implants and prosthetics. The Meshworm robot takes its name because of the flexible, mesh-like tube that makes up its body. This was created by rolling up and heat-sealing a sheet of polymer mesh, which the researchers created from interlacing polymer fibres; allowing the tube to stretch and contract, similar to a spring. A nickel-t...

Full article: http://www.eurekamagazine.co.uk/article/44257/Soft-autono...

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