A flexible robot that moves with explosions

Flexible robot

Not always a robot should have a powerful and rigid body. Rigid construction is good in many cases, but not when it is required to remain operational after a fall or jump. In this case, a soft case will be preferred. Researchers at Harvard University printed on a 3D printer robot with a rigid base, but a fairly soft hull for jumping.

Energy for the movement of irregularities the robot receives from the explosion a mixture of butane and oxygen in the central part of the body. To move in the desired direction, its flexible paws tend to tilt the body, after which an explosion takes place, tossing it in the desired direction.

Three models of robots were tested:

  • Completely soft, which had to be abandoned due to poor handling;
  • Rigid, which often collapsed on landing;
  • With varying rigidity. Having a strong base and body with decreasing to the edges of rigidity.

Despite the fact that the fully rigid robot jumped much higher and more accurately, it often collapsed at the moment of landing. The body of the robot with variable rigidity withstood more than a hundred jumps. This has proven the promise of this type of hull for robots.