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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Harvard University develops new actuators to enable soft robots to have jumping ability

Harvard University develops new actuators to enable soft robots to have jumping ability

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-01 Click:34

According to foreign media reports, it is unknown if anyone has ever played with the toy popper, which jumps up when pressed down. Recently, it has inspired researchers to create an actuator that can one day enable soft robots to cross rugged terrain. It is understood that this actuator developed by Harvard University consists of two inverted bowl shaped polymer soft caps.

Among them, the larger one is on top, the smaller one is inside, and there is a small air gap between these two soft hats.

When not needed, the actuator is simply lying flat on the ground. However, when a jump is required, an integrated hose is used to pump air into the air gap between the two soft caps, resulting in pressure accumulation that causes the larger cap to expand upwards.

But at the same time, the smaller cap will press down and expand, and at this time, the concave side will quickly release energy on the convex side. This process is called shell buckling, which causes the soft cap to forcefully hit the ground and eject the entire actuator into the air.

Once the jump is completed, the air pressure will be released and the soft cap will pop back into the actuator. This means that robots equipped with this device can jump repeatedly.

Professor Katia Bertoldi, senior author of this research paper, pointed out that "this actuator is a component that can be integrated into a completely flexible robot system, allowing soft robots that already have crawling, walking, and swimming to acquire the ability to jump. By incorporating our jumpers into these designs, these robots can safely navigate in unknown environments."

The relevant research report has been published in Science Robotics.