Robots have been the man’s all time favourite technology they want to see actualised in their life. These human-like machines with a distinct body complete with head, arms, hands, feet, and legs have been imagined and desired for long by the civilization.
But, we bring you a paradigm shift in the field of robotics. Recently, designers have ventured into the technique of giving the shape of animals to the robots. They have explored the benefits of emulating other creatures and their capabilities, with robots that can fly like birds, run like cheetahs, swim like a squids or slither like snakes.
Researchers at MIT have come up with a single 3D printed, soft-shelled tentacle designed to navigate through all manner of pipes, channels, and burrows.
This snake robot is extremely flexible and versatile when it comes to robotic biomimicry. Applications ranging from inspecting nuclear power plants to assembling aircraft and even exploring Mars have been identified for snake-like robots, but unlike these and many other robot designs, MIT’s silicone rubber robot doesn’t have fixed-joints and the lack of mobility and flexibility they bring. Instead, this soft-shelled automaton is constructed with a group of hollow, individually inflatable channels ranged down either side of it that, when filled with air, change shape and bend that part of the arm in the required direction.
The robots can inflate, deflate take the form of almost any curve or arc; a feat impossible with solid, fixed-joint machines.