Soft-bodied quadraped robot can walk through flame, survive snow storm

MIT soft robot
Gone are the days where we saw robots that can mimic a person’s speech in two languages. Then we came across the robotic war dogs, robot spy birds, humming birds and so on! Now scientists at Harvard University have created an indestructible robot.

The cross-shaped quadraped robot operates without a tether, crawls around on four floppy, squishy legs and can walk through flames, survive snow and being crushed by car. The soft robot uses chambers of compressed air to crawl along the ground, carrying the battery pack on its back.

It is an improved and more mobile version of earlier designs that could aid the development of machines that can withstand harsh environments but also cause less risk to the technicians operating alongside such robots.

The tough robot is built of silicone, which is stable and strong enough to survive extreme temperatures or large amounts of weight. The robot walks for two hours on a single battery charge or indefinitely when tethered. Michael Tolley and his team see the creation to be helpful in rescue missions, where a flexible body can better move through tight spaces.

Tolley’s team sees this the beginning of a new generation robot that can perform complex tasks such as holding delicate objects and jumping. Also, the researchers plan to increase the speed and mobility of the robot, adding feet, and program it to respond to barriers in progressing towards the goal.

Via: gigaom