Friday, August 10, 2012

Wire worm - The new MIT robot!

A group of researchers from Harvard, MIT and Seoul National University are working on creating a robot that moves like a worm. The project aims to create an autonomous robot using soft and flexible materials. DARPA, the research arm and technological development of U.S. State Department, is responsible behind the financing. The idea is that this worm is able to move through rough terrain and achieve access into difficult areas such as cracks or crevices.

To develop this robot, researchers have had to emulate the way in which a worm ensures its displacement. The animal moves by alternating movements of contraction and muscle stretch, which occur in a coordinated way throughout the body. To copy this design, they create a flexible body comprising a polymer mesh wrapped and heat sealed. The equipment used an alloy of nickel and titanium to react with heat to simulate muscle movement, and the elasticity of the mesh allows individuals to contract and stretch.

The secret is to include a small battery and a circuit board inside the tube. This generates a current that heats the wire in certain segments of the body of the robot. Upon reaching a certain temperature, the wire contracts, creating the movement. With the algorithms developed by the team, you control the heat received by each 'muscle' so that scientists last control movement.

Another advantage is that the materials with which it is in fact make it very resistant. In one test, the team hit him repeatedly with a hammer. Then they test it again, the worm worked without problems. Sangbae Kim, MIT professor and project leader, says that worms mesh (meshworms, as he has named) can be cast without suffering significant damage, which opens an interesting possibility for application in other areas, especially in the medicine, for the development of prostheses or implants.


  1. peter254.9.12

    waw this is so cool i would use this to scare my mom ;D