Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Gummi Bots: Biomimetic Soft-Bodied Robots

Biomimetic soft-bodied robots are the result of a robotics project at Tufts University. Researchers like Barry Trimmer are gathered from many different fields; Trimmer's field is neurobiology, and his studies of the tobacco hornworm provide unaccustomed lessons for roboticists.


(The Biomimetic Technologies for Soft-bodied Robots project)

Hard-bodied, rigid mechanical robots have many limitations; their joints limit range of motion. The Tufts researchers are looking into robots with a skin made of a silicone rubber (brand name: Dragon Skin). The soft-bodied robots wriggle forward with springs embedded in the silicone rubber segments. As a current is passed through a spring, it contracts, bending the robot.

In this way, the "Gummi Bot" (that's my name for them - TM Technovelgy.com!) can wriggle forward like a caterpillar. So far, researchers have been able to propagate a ripple of movement the length of the robot's body. By the end of the year, the team hopes to have full caterpillar motion.

The eventual design goal is to have soft-bodied robots that are able to perform disagreeable tasks in the field, like looking for land mines or finding their way into hard-to-reach spaces in dangerous environments (like nuclear reactors or space craft).

The Tufts researchers would do well to take a look at some of these other soft-bodied and biomimetic research robots:

Via NYTimes (registration required).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/27/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
'They marched in unison, seven of them...' - Isaac Asimov, 1944.

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

Robotic Surgeons Outperform Human Surgeons
'...the objects moving about so gently and putting their instruments away were not living beings, but robots.' - John Russell Fearn

In Your Orchard, Do You Want Buzzing Suction Drones, OR Dick's Claw Hand Drones?
'Something that gleamed, shiny metal, gleamed and clicked as it turned toward her.' - Philip K. Dick, 1960.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

New Train Station Offers Minority Report-Style Signs
A whole new world awaits you, John Anderton!

The Autonomous Robotic Urethral Catheter - Would You Use It?
'It'll snake its way in on its own.'

The Far Side Of The Moon, By NASA (2015) And By PAUL (1932)
"We had leisure to make a thorough observation of the hidden side of earth's satellite."

LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
'They marched in unison, seven of them...'

Sierra Space Inflatable LIFE Habitat Burst Pressure Test
'It was like being inside a balloon...'

Longest Immersed Tunnel Will Connect Denmark and Germany
'... iron tubes... the ends of the tubes were joined to each other...to preserve it from the action of the seawater.'

Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive....'

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'

Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
'Holodeck 4 was waiting to be programmed...'

Robot Food Delivery Coming To Campus Near You
'... he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Are Craiyon Images Puddinged, ala Philip K. Dick?
'I stood in line for half an hour for this, and it's just a blob!'

Hip'Safe Airbag For Seniors, From Helite
'Other airbags go off around her torso and pelvis...'

Soulaje Self-Administered Euthanasia Wearable Prototype
'A young man... advanced with nervous strides along the gravel path which leads to the bronze doors of the Lethal Chamber.'

Midjourney AI Creates 'Théâtre D'opéra Spatial', Wins Art Fair First Prize
'... we'll give him in his brain what he needs for creation.'

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.