Robots are big bad metal machines here to take your jobs and eventually rise up in a backflipping revolution, right? But, what if robots didn’t have to be that way? What if they could be squishy, squid-like creatures with tentacles that can lift 1,000 times their own weight or inch along the floor like an alien worm? Wait, I was supposed to be making you feel better. Hmm.
Well, whatever robots end up being, they’re going to be very interesting! Today’s story comes from the years-old and much quieter field of soft robotics, which uses plastic, polymers, and pressure instead of metal and finely tuned software. It’s resulting in robots that are more biological in their movements, and as it turns out, they just might end up being safer and more useful in some situations than their more Terminator-like cousins.
These soft robots used to be pretty weak, which held back their potential. Earlier this month, Harvard and MIT researchers revealed they’ve figured out a way to make their soft robots super strong, and they’ve done it using the paper-folding principles used in origami!
Via The Verge