#Robot #Caterpillar – Watch this breathtaking video of caterpillar-like robot which dances in presence of light : Researchers from the University of Warsaw in Poland have developed a new caterpillar-like robot that can mimic movements of the worm and climb trees, slopes, and transport loads in a similar fashion.
The robot is just 15-millimetre long and gets energy from modulated laser beam which emits green light. In addition, liquid crystal elastomer technology was used to build the soft robot.
Researchers try to mimic locomotion of several living organisms and they have been doing this since decades. Most of the designs are based on rigid skeletons and joints driven by electric or pneumatic actuators like dogs, cheetah, etc.
However, some animals also move their body using soft tissues as they don’t have bones including snails, caterpillar, and earthworm. These soft body organisms have developed their own technique of locomotion which is way different than other animals with rigid skeletons.
Scientists have previously tried to make the soft robot but they have found difficulty with remote control and power management. To overcome previous problems, researchers this time, used Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (LCEs). LCEs can change their shape when exposed to visible light.
Recent advancement in technology has enabled scientists to pattern these soft materials into arbitrary three-dimensional forms with a pre-defined actuation performance. The light-induced deformation allows a monolithic LCE structure to perform complex actions without numerous discrete actuators.
Harnessing the power of LCEs, researchers were able to develop caterpillar-like robot which has soft tissues and can mimic the locomotion of caterpillar itself.
The robot has the potential to climb a tree, slide on a slope, change its shape and push objects as heavy as ten times of its own weight.