3D-Printed, Soft, Four-Legged Robot Can Walk on Sand and Stone

Published by , May 19, 2017 11:51 am

(UCSanDiego) Engineers at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering have developed the first soft robot that is capable of walking on rough surfaces, such as sand and pebbles. The 3D-printed, four-legged robot can climb over obstacles and walk on different terrains. The breakthrough was possible thanks to a high-end printer that allowed researchers to print soft and rigid materials together within the same components. This made it possible for researchers to design more complex shapes for the robot’s legs.
The robot could be used to capture sensor readings in dangerous environments or for search and rescue. Bringing together soft and rigid materials will help create a new generation of fast, agile robots that are more adaptable than their predecessors and can safely work side by side with humans.The idea of blending soft and hard materials into the robot’s body came from nature.

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