Last week, an artificially intelligent robot scared me to death. The next day, I travelled to Carnegie Mellon University where I met a lab full of robots designed to do the exact opposite. Big, soft, and inflatable, these robots are Disney characters in real life. Your grandma's going to love them. That's the idea.
In the field of soft robotics, engineers use squishy materials to make robots durable, flexible, and safer to operate around humans. Now intrepid DIYers can also bring life to squishy machines: Last September, Harvard University published an open-access Soft Robotics Toolkit online.
You probably remember the cute, soft and inflatable robot called Baymax that took care of Hiro in the movie Big Hero 6. It turns out that the makers of the Disney animation were inspired by actual soft robotic technologies developed by researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University.
A new toolkit could help veteran and beginner roboticists design, create and assemble a variety of soft-bodied bots. The online resource, which includes a trove of blueprints, tutorials and how-to videos, could spur the development of new robots to operate in the medical industry, disaster relief efforts or an array of other applications. Read more about LiveScience - Build-a-Bot Kit Makes Robots Open Source
If you’ve ever wondered how to engineer a flexible robot that can move like a flesh-and-blood creature, have we got some tools for you. Thanks, that is, to an open-source collaboration that has outlined exactly how to create and program such "soft" robots.