Entries with tag sea cucumbers.

Researchers Create Soft-Bodied Autonomous Robot

An international team of researchers has created a robot inspired by the locomotion of soft bodied creatures such as earthworms, snails, and sea cucumbers. These invertebrates squeeze their bodies—a process called peristalsis—to ambulate. MIT, Harvard University, and Seoul National University scientists made a soft autonomous nickel and titanium robot called Meshworm with a resilient, segmented body that moves via peristalsis. They say it could be useful on rough terrain or in tight spaces. Their approach uses a small amount of applied current to the robot, which generates heat. This squeezes the machine’s mesh structure, propelling it in the desired direction. An algorithm controls the level of heating, which controls the direction in which the machine moves. The researchers also found their robot to be durable after hitting it with a hammer and stepping on it. They published their work in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. (Science Daily)(MIT News Office)

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