Tag Archives: DARPAtv

DARPA’s Soft Robot: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Harvard University researchers working under DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program recently demonstrated the ability to manufacture low-cost silicone robots with microfluidic channels that allow for air and fluids to be pumped in to control movement, color and temperature.

In this video, a soft robot walks onto a bed of rocks and is filled with fluid to match the color of the rocks and break up the robot’s shape. The robot moves at a speed of approximately 40 meters per hour; absent the colored fluid, it can move at approximately 67 meters per hour.

Future research will be directed at smoothing the movements; however, speed is less important than the robot’s flexibility. Soft robots are useful because they are resilient and can maneuver through very constrained spaces. (more…)

DARPA Cheetah Sets Speed Record for Legged Robots

This video shows a demonstration of the “Cheetah” robot galloping at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour (mph), setting a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989.

The robot’s movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does.

The current version of the Cheetah robot runs on a laboratory treadmill where it is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill. Testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year. (more…)