Professor George Whitesides, Robert Shepherd and their team at Harvard University are behind this new bendy robot that can crawl, squeeze and make waves. The work was inspired by sea creatures like the squid, starfish, and other animals that don’t have a hard skeleton.
The robot was built using materials called "elastomers". It's also filled with small chambers that become inflated to make the robot move. In a test, the robot was able to squeeze itself into a gap that was just 2 cm high!
The robots bendiness means that it handles falls and bumps better than the average robot built with wheels and other rigid materials. But, it also means that the soft skin can get easily punctured.
So, what can we use this little robot for? Here’s a list of uses we found for the bendy-bot:
- Retrieving lost jewelry or change that fell behind large pieces of furniture
- Scaring pets
- Cleaning the back of the fridge
- Squeezing through the crack of a car window and getting the keys from the ignition if you’ve found you’ve locked the keys in your car
… We’re sure the Harvard engineers can find some better uses. Click here to watch a video of the robot in motion on BBC’s website!