Researchers have developed a soft body robot, which will be significantly more impactful and usable than others developed by a 3D printer.
When it comes to science, the limits are constantly being pushed in virtually every direction possible. While that hasn’t always been the case, it certainly has been in the space of robotics, where scientists are constantly reinventing what they can do with a robot, or how they can produce one, which might yield better functionality. Those limits are once again being pushed, as a group of researchers have put together a product that was contrived from a 3-D printer, and reveals just how powerful of a tool 3-D printers could be in this space.
Carmel Majidi and a team of researchers developed a hopping robot that truly defies logic, as it was created from a 3-D printer, making it one of the most unique pieces of robotic equipment on Earth. It would jump, and move quickly, and essentially have the same form as a frog, making it one of the most diverse robotic apparatuses on the planet as well.
Majidi said of the robot, “You could use it, say, for exploring unknown or unstructured spaces where it’s not enough to have wheels or roll around. You might need it to hop or jump to overcome obstacles.” Ultimately, this or any discovery similar to it could be used for a number of things, which would make accessing small or difficult to reach places more easily.
Perhaps the biggest and most positive change which would come from this design would be the addition of soft parts. This is something that has always been a concern for scientists who have grappled with various robotic designs. A soft design would make injury less likely in situations where humans are involved in a rescue scenario, or even make disrupting a specific space less likely. Either way, the addition of small parts is a great advantage for the scientific community, because it also gives the scientists the ability to develop lighter weight materials.
Lighter, less harmful, and more functional robotics would prove to be a serious asset in an endless number of situations. At this point, we’re talking about something that could dramatically change the course of science, and something that would prove incredibly beneficial for those who are looking for better methods to actually produce various robotics. This raises questions about what other robotics could be developed with this type of technology in play.