Autonomous soft robot slider drags 3 kg of cargo

    Recently, there have been active development of the so-called "soft robots" (soft robots). Most of them operate on a pneumatic actuator and drag a hose or wire behind them, which limits their mobility.

    Engineers from Harvard University made a kind of breakthrough: they constructed a fully autonomous soft robot . It carries air compressors, valves, a battery and a controller on its back, so it can travel on any route.

    In addition, it is able to lift up to 8 kg and drag up to 3.4 kg of additional cargo, move in the snow, withstand the effects of fire, water and a car collision.

    The length of the robot is 65 cm. It was possible to increase the load capacity due to the modification of the pneumatic drive, which allowed to increase the atmospheric pressure inside the robot to 139 kPa (20 psi).

    Such a robot moves rather slowly. Please note: the photos show the time elapsed since the start of the movement. In the most intensive mode, its speed is 18 meters per hour.

    A standard 3200 mAh battery lasts for 2 hours at a speed of 2 m / h in slow mode (left in the illustration) or 18 m / h in fast mode (right).

    Of course, we still have to work on speed.

    One of the advantages of the robot is its relatively low cost. It took $ 1,111 to make a prototype, and this amount can be significantly reduced if cheaper compressors and valves are used.

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