This jumping robot, crafted together using the latest 3D-printing techniques and powered by butane gas, merges the very best features of hard robots and soft robots.
Both kinds of robots have disadvantages -- hard robots are faster and provide a more stable housing for electronics, but they are prone to breaking. Soft robots are more flexible and are safer but tend to be slow, and don't take impact too kindly. This robot brings together the stability of hard robots with the flexibility of soft robots.
According to one of the project's leaders, UC San Diego professor Michael Tolley, "bringing together soft and rigid materials will help create a new generation of fast, agile robots that are more robust and adaptable than their predecessors and can safely work side by side with humans."
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