This soft, inchworm robot changes shape in response to tiny electrical or temperature changes. The power-efficient robot is made from a specialized "programmable" polymer technology that, according to the University of Toronto researchers, could someday lead to lightweight and safer robots but also enable other kinds of smart materials. From EurekAlert!:
"In situations where humans could be in danger -- a gas leak or a fire -- we could outfit a crawling robot with a sensor to measure the harmful environment," explains Naguib. "In aerospace, we could see smart materials being the key to next-generation aircrafts with wings that morph."
Though he points out it will be some time before the world sees morphed-wing aircrafts, the most immediate impact will be seen in wearable technology.
"We're working to apply this material to garments. These garments would compress or release based on body temperature, which could be therapeutic to athletes," says Naguib. The team is also studying whether smart garments could be beneficial for spinal cord injuries.
"In this case, we've trained it to move like a worm," he says. "But our innovative approach means we could train robots to mimic many movements -- like the wings of a butterfly."
UPDATE: Launch scrubbed due to weather just a few minutes before launch. See you Saturday for another try! Today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to shuttle two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This will be the first time humans will launch to space from the United States […]
The BBC filmed a Boston Dynamics robot dog attemping to herd sheep in New Zealand. A robot dog designed for search and rescue missions has had a go at herding sheep in New Zealand. Technology company Rocos is exploring how the Spot robot – made by US-based Boston Dynamics – might be put to work […]
The robot is your shepherd. In collaboration with cloud robotics firm Rocos, Boston Dynamics demonstrates how their robot dog Spot can herd sheep and handle other farming tasks. From the video description: The use of autonomous robots in agriculture is increasing the efficiency of food production. Robots, like Spot from Boston Dynamics, increase accuracy in […]
Software apps are a dime a dozen. Well, if you’re going by their actual monetary cost, maybe not really. But considering how useless some poorly conceived, poorly executed apps are at doing the job you actually downloaded them to accomplish, it isn’t a stretch to think that many apps aren’t even worth a free download. […]
With everything happening in the last few months, we all but guarantee no one has been thinking about their taxes. That’s understandable — because, beyond all of our current concerns, nobody enjoys the whole tax filing process during even the best of times. Unfortunately, Benjamin Franklin was right — taxes truly are as inescapable as […]
Most parents know that giving their kids educational toys and other projects will expand their minds. But what many might not realize is that physical play is actually building their mental abilities as well. Studies are still in beginning stages, but some early research supports the theory that kids who get the chance to get […]