Its speed is more than 3 times faster than previous generations.

Stu Porter /

It may not look like a cheetah, but it mimics it in speed and motor skills. That’s how this animal-inspired this robot that can run on solid ground or swim in water at speeds unmatched for a boot of its kind. With possible uses in the rescue field or for industrial applications, here is the brand new model of a soft robot.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new, highly flexible softbot or soft robot that can move very quickly over solid surfaces and can even lift heavy objects. This new robot has been named LEAP (Leveraging Elastic instabilities for Amplified Performance) and takes advantage of its elastic instabilities for amplified performance. As a soft robot, LEAP was inspired by an organic organism for its design, in this case, the cheetah. “We were inspired by the cheetah to create a type of flexible robot that has a bistable spine, which means the robot has two stable states,” said Jie Yin, the designer of the new softbot, in a release.

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A complete description of his robot and the results of his research on the subject were published in the journal Science Advances. According to this paper, LEAP is 7 mm long and weighs 45 g. The softbot can cover 2.7 body lengths per second. By comparison, the fastest soft robot in the world, other than LEAP, moves at a speed of 0.8 body length per second. Its speed is, therefore, more than 3 times faster than previous generations. Another advantage over other existing soft robots is that LEAP is able to climb steep slopes. In addition, scientists are still working on improving the softbot so that it will be able to capture objects.

According to Jie Yin, there are several possible uses for this soft robot. He said: “Potential applications include search and rescue technologies, where speed is essential, and industrial manufacturing robotics. For example, imagine a faster production line robotics, but still capable of handling fragile objects. »

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Source : Gurumed


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