This toy-inspired actuator may allow the software robot to jump

According tomedia reports, do not know whether we have ever played popper this toy, when pressed down will jump up. Recently, it has inspired researchers to create a actuator that could one day allow software robots to cross rugged terrain. It is understood that the actuator developed by Harvard University consists of two bowl-shaped polymer soft caps upside down.

This toy-inspired actuator may allow the software robot to jump

Among them, the larger on top, the smaller inside, between the two soft caps there is a small air gap.

When not needed, the actuator is just 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 a build-up of pressure that causes the larger soft cap to expand upward.

At the same time, however, the smaller soft cap is pressed down and expands, at which point the bump semve softens and quickly releases energy. This process, known as shell flexor, causes the soft cap to hit the ground hard, catapulting the entire actuator into the air.

Once the jump is complete, the air pressure is released and the soft cap pops back into the actuator. This means that robots equipped with the device can jump repeatedly.

Professor Katiatold Beri, senior author of the study, said: “This actuator is a component that can be integrated into a completely soft robotic system, giving soft robots who already crawl, walk and swim to jump. By incorporating our jumpers into these designs, these robots can navigate safely in uncharted environments. “

The study was published in Science Robotics.