Roboticists at the University of Warsaw recently unveiled a creepy crawly robot that mimics the way worms and caterpillars move. This unnerving little squirmer can scoot along across flat surfaces, slide under doors and slip between cracks. It can even carry loads and push objects around.
Back in 2012, researchers at MIT came up with a nickel-titanium alloy robot called Meshworm that could move around by expanding and contracting in response to temperature changes. But this new robot from University of Warsaw is even more unsettling because it is much smaller and softer.
The new German soft robot’s LCE (Liquid Crystalline Elastomer) 15 millimeter long body deforms and snaps back into shape in response to laser commands.
One can only imagine the potential uses for 15 millimeter robots. Imagine a wormbot equipped with a microphone or a camera crawling through the walls, or an organized team of wormbots working together like ants to create large structures.
Researchers hope that future soft robots made out of LCE will be able to swim and fly.