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Robotics Technology

New 'Rubber Robot' Crawls Through Small Spaces With Inflatable Limbs 56

JoeRobe writes "Researchers at Harvard have developed a pneumatically-controlled rubber robot that combines undulation and quadrupedal 'crawling,' allowing it to maintain a low profile while moving. In a paper published in PNAS (abstract), they describe it as a 'soft robot, composed exclusively of soft materials (elastomeric polymers), which is inspired by animals (e.g., squid, starfish, worms) that do not have hard internal skeletons.' The robot is solely powered by relatively low pressure (10 psi), and controlled by 5 pneumatic actuators. The research was funded by DARPA." The paper is also available (not paywalled) from the researchers' project site (PDF), complete with more creepy images of the squidbot.
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New 'Rubber Robot' Crawls Through Small Spaces With Inflatable Limbs

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  • Not a robot. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:12PM (#38232036) Journal

    Look, if it has to be tethered to an enormous power and control source, it is not a robot, it is a...what? a mechanical peripheral, at best.

    I have the same basic problem with the "robot wars" stuff. If there's a guy with a controller box to one side of the arena deciding what the thing will do, it's an RC toy, not a robot.

    Make it autonomous, self-propelled, and self-powered, and it's a robot. Otherwise, it's not any more of a robot than your printer is.

"We Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll bomb your cities." -- Robin Williams, _Good Morning Vietnam_