Inflatable Robots - Safe and a Lot of Fun!
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Saturday, 26 November 2011

With funding from DARPA, Otherlab has designed a pneumatic robot arm and a six-legged inflatable robot, strong enough to carry people around. Watch the video to see how this works.


 

If you have seen the sort of big robots that DARPA tends to build, you will know that they are slightly scary. Any time metal moved by actuators comes close to humans there is the possibility of an accident. With a pneumatic robot - a "pneubot" - everything is different. It's soft but still very strong. DARPA gave some funding to Otherlab and they created Ant-Roach and a pneubot arm.

Essentially they are big blow up toys but with pneumatic or hydraulic actuators. Ant-Roach is a big six legged cross between an insect and an ant eater weighing only 70lbs but it is strong enough to carry people as it walks. The inflatable robot arm is less than 2lb but can lift a few hundred pounds.

The best way to see why these robotic platforms are special is to see them in action: 

        

The movement may not be smooth but it can be carried into position by one man and two or three people can ride on its back.

 

antroachride

If you find that you can't take Ant-Roach seriously try the inflatable robotic arm:

 

 

You also need to keep in mind that these are prototypes and they seem to be improving rapidly. It is clear that pneubots have a role to play in a lot of niche applications. I also think that the basic idea is simple enough for amateurs to incorporate into a design.
An inflatable Asimo anyone?

More Information

There is a very long account of the idea at Hizook and the Otherlab blog has a lot more information and videos.

 

To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Google+, Twitter or Facebook or sign up for our weekly newsletter.


 

Banner


White House - Programmers Don't Have To Wear Suits
25/08/2014

The recently formed US Digital Service is aimed at making digital interaction with the government less like going to the dentist. Part of the change that the new head brings is the relaxed attitude to [ ... ]



Robotic Secrets Revealed - A Video
07/09/2014

This video didn't win the AAAI Video competition, but it is certainly good enough to amuse you while teaching you some basic AI. We also  think that this crew deserves a TV series of its own own. [ ... ]


More News

Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 November 2011 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of news items only
I Programmer News
Copyright © 2014 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.