Robots are branching out. A new prototype soft robot takes inspiration from plants by growing to explore its environment.
Vines and some fungi extend from their tips to explore their surroundings. Elliot Hawkes of the University of California in Santa Barbara and his colleagues designed a bot that works on similar principles. Its mechanical body sits inside a plastic tube reel that extends through pressurized inflation, a method that some invertebrates like peanut worms (Sipunculus nudus) also use to extend their appendages. The plastic tubing has two compartments, and inflating one side or the other changes the extension direction. A camera sensor at the tip alerts the bot when it’s about to run into something.
Read Article: https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/science-ticker/robot-grows-plant?mode=topic&context=96
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Oliver Briscoe is a 20+ year veteran of the Informational Technology field. He understands his first principals and loves teaching others.