Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Harvard University designed a three dimensional printed robot, which comes with an ability to jump exactly 6 times of its total height. The more interesting fact is that, the robot has an ability to perform the same task again and again, without a malfunction.
When we are thinking about robots and machines, most of us would have envisioned only metal-constructed, with rigid bodies. The researchers made them false, and made a robot that can easily jump off from the ground. The researchers team made a 3D printed robot with combining various materials with different properties from extremely flexible to rigid ones.
The researcher team includes Nicholas W. Bartlett, Michael T. Tolley, Johannes T. B. Overvelde, James C. Weaver, Bobak Mosadegh, Katia Bertoldi, George M. Whitesides, and Robert J. Wood. They reported their invention and findings in Science Magazine named with “A 3D-printed, functionally graded soft robot powered by combustion“. The robot is powered by a mixture of butane and oxygen, and able to jump 30 times for single fuel recharge.
Michael Tolley, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UC San Diego said,
“We believe that bringing together soft and rigid materials will help create a new generation of fast, agile robots that are more robust and adaptable than their predecessors and can safely work side by side with humans,” “The idea of blending soft and hard materials into the robot’s body came from nature. In nature, complexity has a very low cost. Using new manufacturing techniques like 3D printing, we’re trying to translate this to robotics.”
Basically, soft robots are very slow while comparing to the rigid robots, the idea of combing more rigid components into the robot structure, the researchers were able to combine the benefits of both of them. It offers various ability such as absorb shock, jump off of the ground and easy movements.
The robot will move fast due to the rigid components present in it, and absorbs shock as well as offer safer environment for humans with their flexible parts. Also the robot comes with a 3D printing, which comes with a nine layers of stiffness for the robot.