Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake

Snake robot, you say? I love the snek robots, and this one has a unique skin created with kirigami paper cutting methods.


(Clever scaly soft robot)

To mimic the snakeskin, Ahmad Rafsanjani, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, resorted to the Japanese art of paper cutting, called kirigami. He used lasers to make cuts in thin plastic sheets in the shape of lines, triangles, circles, or trapezoids. The skins were then wrapped around silicone rubber tubes powered by air. (The air was either pumped through tubes, or thanks to a small control unit with onboard pump, battery, and sensors.)

The robot works this way: When the tube is inflated or deflated, it stretches forward, allowing the scales to pop up and then grab onto the surface.

I love snake robots, and if you doubt me, take a look at these articles I did that provide a look at about a dozen pre-2005 snake robots - Snake Robot Roundup!. Plenty of science fiction references, because sf writers have been intrigued with robotic worms and snakes; see the mining worm robot from Love Among the Robots (1946) by Emmett McDowell and the mechanical cobra from Lord of Light (1967) by Roger Zelazny.

Via The Verge.

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