Soft robots are predicted to replace their rigid peers, but the practical implementation of this technology is still lagging behind. The Harvard researchers are trying to change the situation.
The main issue with soft robots is the need for wired control. They are connected to external devices by numerous tubes with compressed air, which causes severe functional limitations. But the Harvard researchers have found a way to tackle the problem.
The method they developed should be the basis for the next generation of soft robots. It allows all hoses to be replaced with a single air inlet. This will simplify the devices design and make them lighter and more compact.
To illustrate the idea, the engineers created a simple four-legged cross-shaped device, small in size. Air is fed into the robot through a single inlet and is then distributed internally through a complex system of varying-diameter tubes. Work is currently underway on the air source for the new-type robot.
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