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The Ant-Roach by Otherlab Shows the Strength of Inflatables

 - Nov 24, 2011
References: otherlab & wired
Engineering and design firm Otherlab, working in collaboration with Meka Robotics and Stanford University, has created this incredible 15-foot-tall inflatable animal called the Ant-Roach.

Made from lightweight inflatable fabric and powered by hydraulics, the Ant-Roach demonstrates "the carrying capacity and high strength-to-weight ratios possible with inflatable structures," says the Otherlab site. With the ability to carry up to 450 kg, the Ant-Roach features "muscles" that are texile-based actuators and its belly comprises manifolds that dispense compressed air. When a signal is sent to a microcontroller on the Ant-Roach, it moves.

As Wired UK points out, a blow-up robot offers the advantage of being cheaper to build and because it is mainly air, the structure will also float -- in fact, the Ant-Roach can walk over water.

Watch the video to see the Ant-Roach in action.