Using small explosions produced by a mix of methane and oxygen, researchers at Harvard have designed a soft robot that can leap as much as a foot in the air. That ability to jump could one day prove critical in allowing the robots to avoid obstacles during search and rescue operations.
In a new study of worm locomotion, researchers show that a single type of motor neuron drives an entire sensorimotor loop.
Researchers have developed a system — inspired by nature — that allows soft robots to either camouflage themselves against a background, or to make bold color displays. Such a “dynamic coloration” system could one day have a host of uses, ranging from helping doctors plan complex surgeries to acting as a visual marker to help search crews following a disaster.
Harvard Professor George Whitesides and his research team have developed an array of “soft” robots based on natural forms, including squids and starfish, that may one day be used to aid disaster recovery efforts by squeezing into the rubble left by an earthquake to locate survivors, or as a way to free up a surgeon’s hands in the operating room.