Engineers have developed a shape-changing “soft” robot that’s able to operate in extreme conditions which normally restrict classic robots.
Scientists from Cornell and Harvard Universities published details of the robot in the upcoming edition of journal Soft Robotics in a paper named ‘A Resilient, Untethered Soft Robot’.
The work creates a major advance in the nascent field of soft robotics, a whole new sub-category that ditches rigid parts found in classic robots in an effort to cope with uncertain and changing tasks and situations, for example moving over difficult surfaces.
The robot’s design improves upon earlier soft robot designs since it is the 1st completely untethered device that doesn’t need to be attached to an air compressor to operate – meaning its usage is not restricted to the research laboratory.
The document details a “pneumatically powered, fully untethered mobile soft robot” produced from silicon and consisting of empty glass spheres, air compressors, and a battery.
It is said in the paper that the soft robot is safe to use and to interact with while in operations, and its silicon body is innately resilient to a various damaging environmental conditions,”These include snow, puddles of water, direct exposure to flames, and the crushing force of being run over by an automobile.”
The engineers desire to make improvements to the robot’s design in the foreseeable future by much better protecting the rest of the firm parts, that at the moment remain exposed at the robot’s core. Additionally they wish to enhance the locomotion quickness of the robot, that is limited by the flow rate of air into the pneumatic pumps.