Researchers at MIT have come up with a slithering rubber robot that could come to represent a paradigm shift in the world of robotics. We usually envision robots as having human-like forms, with boxes of machinery replacing flash and blood. However the recent years have seen an explosion in the interest in and development of bio-inspired robots whose shapes and movements are inspired by animals.
This rubber robot is clearly inspired by snakes. It is a 3D-printed, soft-shelled tentacle robot that is designed to navigate through pipes, channels and burrows. It could potentially be used from anything to inspecting nuclear power plants to exploring distant planets.
The MIT researchers will present and demonstrate their slithery rubber robot at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems later this month.