Technology has rapidly advanced over the past decades and the field of robotics is one of the areas that underwent a swift transformation. Speaking of transformation, a group of engineers from Cornell University has recently rolled out terminator morphing robot, a new breed of robots which they believe is capable of quick physical transformation.
The group, led by Cornell engineering professor Rob Shepherd, launched a new generation of robot. According to the scientists, the robot is capable of self-healing. The robot or soft robot, as what its makers call it, is made of metal and rubber foam, a report from Cornell’s official media center showed.
One cannot discuss the group’s newly launched creation without comparing it to the android T-1000 from the sci-fi blockbuster Terminator 2. Shepherd’s team, however, said that their robot is far from the futuristic technology that the android assassin is capable of. But the main concept is there.
What’s unique with the Shepherd’s robot is the fact that it married the two opposing but powerful characteristics of a material: flexibility of the porous rubber foam and the stiffness and sturdiness of metal.
The report, however, noted that the robot is also limited, just like other robots, by the fact that it still has a skeleton. Having a skeleton hinders the robot’s flexibility and its ability to change its structure.
“Sometimes you want a robot, or any machine, to be stiff. But when you make them stiff, they can’t morph their shape very well. And to give a soft robot both capabilities, to be able to morph their structure but also to be stiff and bear load, that’s what this material does,” Shepherd was quoted as saying by the Cornell press.
Shepherd’s work, published in the February issue of the Advanced Materials, is a monumental innovation not only in the field of robotics but even in the field of aeronautics.
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