Turn a plush toy
into a robot? Researchers at Yale University are working on this topic. The robotic skin they studied was made of an elastic plate equipped with sensors and remotely actuators. Through the cooperation of several skins, developers can improvise the various "robots".
In a recent test, after wrapping such skin, a toy horse was able to move its limbs and a thin foam tube became a creeping robot.
This may sound a bit silly, but scientists are seriously thinking about what kind of skin can be used for.
Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale University, is the leader of the research. She said that on the way to a dangerous environment such as the disaster area, such robots can be temporarily made to perform important tasks.
She pointed out: “Designers can use robot skin to wrap any available deformed material to quickly build a robot, then mount the camera on it, and finally send the robot to explore a small or dangerous space. On different objects, the robot skin can be wrapped. , removed or connected. The combination of multiple skins can produce many different configurations and perform many different tasks."
According to Conor Walsh, an associate professor of engineering and applied science at Harvard University, this is a very exciting study that demonstrates the functional diversity and adaptability of software robots.