Researchers from MIT, Harvard University, and Seoul National Laboratory have developed an autonomous robot that mimics the movement of earthworms, MIT News reports.
The soft autonomous robot, called Meshworm, crawls across surfaces by contracting segments of its body.
MIT Mechanical Engineering Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor Sangbae Kim said the Meshworm is designed to navigate rough terrain and squeezing into tight spaces.
Kim added that the Meshworm could remain unscathed, even when stepped on or struck with a hammer.
Jennifer Chu wrote that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored invention stretches and contracts with heat due to its artificial muscle, made of nickel and titanium wires.
Biology professor from Lewis and Clark College Kellar Autumn said the Meshworm is designed for future endoscopes, implants, and prosthetics.
Autumn added that the technology could be used in the next decade for mobile phones, computers, and automobiles.
Other researchers who worked on the Meshworm project include MIT graduate student Sangok Seok and postdoc Cagdas Denizel Onal, Harvard Assistant Professor Robert J. Wood, Seoul National University assistant professor Kyu-Jin Cho, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory director Daniela Rus.
Credit: MIT News