Inspired by arthropod insects and spiders, scientists George Whitesides and Alex Nemiroski have created a type of semi-soft robot capable of walking, using drinking straws, and inflatable tubing. The team was even able to create a robotic water strider capable of pushing itself along the water’s surface.
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A new resource provides both experienced and aspiring researchers with the intellectual raw materials needed to design, build, and operate robots made from soft, flexible materials.
Researchers at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed the world’s first untethered soft robot — a quadruped that can stand up and walk away from its designers.
Harvard scientists have developed a system for using magnetic levitation technology to manipulate nonmagnetic materials, potentially enabling manufacturing with materials that are too fragile for traditional methods.
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.
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.
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.