Soft Autonomous Robot Inches Along Like an Earthworm: Flexible Design Enables Body-Morphing Capability (w/video)

from Science News

ScienceDaily (Aug. 9, 2012) — Earthworms creep along the ground by alternately squeezing and stretching muscles along the length of their bodies, inching forward with each wave of contractions. Snails and sea cucumbers also use this mechanism, called peristalsis, to get around, and our own gastrointestinal tracts operate by a similar action, squeezing muscles along the esophagus to push food to the stomach.

Now researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University have engineered a soft autonomous robot that moves via peristalsis, crawling across surfaces by contracting segments of its body, much like an earthworm. The robot, made almost entirely of soft materials, is remarkably resilient: Even when stepped upon or bludgeoned with a hammer, the robot is able to inch away, unscathed . . . Read Complete Report

from youtube

Published on Aug 10, 2012 by 

Researchers at MIT, Harvard and Seoul National University have created a soft autonomous robot that moves by contracting segments of its body, much like an earthworm.

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