In another example of biomimicry applied to robotics, researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Seoul National University created this Meshworm.
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…
The robot is named “Meshworm” for the flexible, mesh like tube that makes up its body. Researchers created “artificial muscle” from wire made of nickel and titanium — a shape-memory alloy that stretches and contracts with heat. They wound the wire around the tube, creating segments along its length, much like the segments of an earthworm. They then applied a small current to the segments of wire, squeezing the mesh tube and propelling the robot forward.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.