Just Released: Blob Morphing 'Bot
iRobot released their new soft blob morphing robot this past Tuesday. The amazing shape-shifter has the ability to squeeze through tiny crevices.
From IEEE Spectrum:
"Researchers from iRobot and the University of Chicago discussed their palm-sized soft robot, known as a chemical robot, or chembot, at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems yesterday. It's 'the first demonstration of a completely soft, mobile robot using jamming as an enabling technology,' they write in a paper presented at the conference.
The concept of "'jamming skin enabled locomotion' is explained quite nicely in the video. The polymer used for the bot's stretchy skin is off-the-shelf silicone two-part rubber.
By controlling the parts of the blob that 'inflate,' the researchers can make it roll."
Awesome. Skip ahead to 1:50 to see the blob in action.