Harvard researchers design 'snake robot' based on kirigami

Updated 2018-02-22 13:51:03 Xinhua

A robotic crawler moving across elevated concrete pavement. (Video/Harvard University)

A team of researchers from Harvard University have developed a soft snake-like robot that can slither like a serpent, coil and uncoil, and could be used for difficult rescue and medical operations some day.

According to a study published in the American journal Science Robotics on Wednesday, the device is composed of "snake scales" made by using kirigami, the ancient Japanese art of three-dimensional paper cutting.

The researchers started with a simple, flat plastic sheet. Using a laser cutter, they made multiple cuts on it and then wrapped it around a tube-like actuator made of a rubber-like material, which expands and contracts with air like a balloon.

When the actuator expands, the cuts pop out, forming a rough surface that can grip the ground. When the actuator deflates, the cuts fold, propelling the snake robot forward.

The team experimented with various kinds of cuts, including triangular, circular and trapezoidal. They found that trapezoidal cuts, which bear the closest resemblance to the shape of snake scales, made the robot cover the most ground.

The researchers said their kirigami-based strategy could pave the way for designing a new class of soft crawlers.

"These all-terrain soft robots could one day travel across difficult environments for exploration, inspection, monitoring and search and rescue missions or perform complex, laparoscopic medical procedures," Katia Bertoldi, professor of applied mechanics and senior author of the paper, said.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58July 19 2018 00:26:53

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16July 19 2018 00:26:53

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18July 19 2018 00:26:53

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords