Researchers, inspired by the biomechanics of cheetahs, have invented a new type of soft robotics capable of moving more quickly than previous generations on solid surfaces or in the water. Previous soft robots could move at 0.8 body lengths per second on flat, solid surfaces, but this new class of soft robots, which are called “Leveraging Elastic instabilities for Amplified Performance” (LEAP), are able to reach speeds of up to 2.7 body lengths per second at a low actuation frequency of 3Hz. Read more for a video and additional information.
They are also capable of running up steep inclines, which can be challenging or impossible for soft robotics that exert less force against the ground. The LEAP design could also improve swimming speeds for soft robots, as they attached a fin to one and it was able to swim at a speed of 0.78 body lengths per second, as compared to 0.7 body lengths per second for the previous fastest swimming soft robot.
- Who doesn't love robots? Introduce kids to the creative world of coding with the best educational STEM toys to foster their curiosities. Building, learning, and programming robots has never been more fun!
- Includes 847 LEGO pieces that kids can build and rebuild into 5 cool multifunctional models. The best and most popular robotics toys for 7-12 year old boys and girls who love to tinker and learn about science. Use the latest tech like color, distance and tilt sensors.
- Construct and code Vernie the Robot to dance, rock out on the Guitar4000, foster Frankie the Cat, interact with the Autobuilder, or explore a new discovery with the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4). The IQ-boosting activities are endless!
- Award-winning toy and the perfect gift for kids and teenagers. Instructions for all 5 models are included with the free LEGO BOOST app. Download in the Amazon Appstore: amazon.com/dp/B075LL7KGB. Requires 6x AAA 1.5V batteries (not included).
- Vernie the Robot stands over 10" (27cm) tall, Guitar4000 over 1” (5cm) high, 16” (42cm) long and 5” (15cm) wide, Frankie the Cat over 6” (17cm) tall, AutoBuilder over 10” (27cm) high, M.T.R.4 over 4” (12cm) high, 9” (23cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide.
We can switch between these stable states rapidly by pumping air into channels that line the soft, silicone robot. Switching between the two states releases a significant amount of energy, allowing the robot to quickly exert force against the ground. This enables the robot to gallop across the surface, meaning that its feet leave the ground,” said Dr. Jie Yin, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University.