Sunday, September 20

Elastomeric “Cushy” Robots Operating on Pneumatic Actuators


Those new prototype robots, which have been molded from paper and silicone rubber, can twist, bend, grip, and raise greater than 100 occasions their very own weight. The extra astonishing reality is they run on pneumatic actuators, which means that that they principally run on air.

The DARPA-funded challenge imagined “cushy” robots for particular duties through which they may carry out higher than their steel brethren. Examples come with operating thru a winding tube, rubble, or different tricky surroundings that may well be problematic for a robotic constructed from steel.


Xin Chen, a chemist at Boston College, and a part of the staff that revealed their analysis within the magazine Complex Purposeful Fabrics, says that those robots will probably be reasonably versatile, which is one thing wanted in some environments. Engineers had been taking a look at bugs, birds, snakes, fish and canine for inspiration. They’ve advanced air-powered rubber robots that may constrict like snakes and undulate beneath stumbling blocks.

The brand new prototypes move even additional via the use of paper, cloth, and cord mesh so as to add energy and definition to the silicone-molded shapes. When they’re molded, the units are hooked as much as a easy compressed air supply, like a syringe.

paper-robot-lifts-weightOnce they’re molded, the units are hooked as much as a easy compressed air supply, corresponding to a syringe. As a way to accomplish duties, the robots wish to be folded in simply the precise manner. They’ve demonstrated how a crinkled up clump of silicone-soaked paper used to be in a position to boost a 2-pound weight. The drive required to perform this activity used to be kind of two times that of a human exhalation.

The researchers’ armamentarium additionally comprises cylinders that blow into spheres, tubes that act likes springs, and compact stacks that become inflexible pies or rings. Your next step comes to including wiring and electronics so as to add extra purposes. In theory, those units might be scaled all the way down to a micro- or nanoscopic scale.

[via Wired]