Snake-inspired robot slithers even better than predecessor

Researchers have developed a new-and-improved, snake-inspired soft robot that is faster and more precise than its predecessor. The robot is made using kirigami -- a Japanese paper craft that relies on cuts to change the properties of a material. As the robot stretches, the kirigami surface "pops up" into a 3D-textured surface, which grips the ground just like snake skin. The new research combined two properties of the material -- the size of the cuts and the curvature of the sheet. By controlling these features, the researchers were able to program dynamic propagation of pop ups from one end to another or control localized pop-ups. The research paves the way to responsive surfaces and smart skins.

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Runtime: 1:24

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