In most cases, if we think of a robot, suddenly two common things come to our mind such as its rigid structure and metal body appearance. But, here is a totally different and new kind of robot introduced by the scientists of Harvard University, which is flexible and soft. The construction of this robot took only two months to get finished.
This flexible robot is mainly developed to go pass small gaps by moving slowly. It is also capable of holding up the vibrations, compressions, and mechanical shocks. The movement of this robot resembles almost like a starfish and squid.
This robot measures a length of 12.70 centimeters (5.0 inches). It is made up of the elastomeric polymer substances with four legs. These legs are powered by the pneumatic system either with the help of a computer or manual operation. As it is capable of performing various types of leg movements such as slithering and crawling, it is also named as multigait robot.
This soft-bodied robot can be very useful to crawl through some difficult gaps at the disaster places, and move on the hard lands in the battlefield. It can also navigate on the surfaces that have gravel, felt cloth, Jell – O, and mud.
The performance of this multigait robot was tested by making it to move under a glass, which is placed only 3/4 inch above from the surface. During this test, the robot successfully reached the other side of the glass by utilizing its different leg movements. Another important thing to note in this test is that it took just a minute to cross the glass. You can catch its action on the below video.
One downside in this robot is that it uses an external power system to actuate the legs. If the scientists can integrate it with the robot, then it will be very helpful to employ on the future robots.