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MIT Robot Can Grow Like a Plant When It Needs Extra Reach

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MIT's growing robot.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a robotic system that can "grow" as needed.

Credit: TechCrunch

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a robotic system that can "grow" in a way similar to how a young plant grows upward.

The robot is not a soft robot, so it can extend itself to reach up to a previously unreachable height, or through a gap in a hard-to-reach area, while maintaining the rigidity and strength required to support a gripper or other mechanism.

The robot uses a chain-like apparatus similar to a bicycle chain. The links of the chain are interlocking blocks that can "lock" into one another to form a rigid column, then "unlock" to return to a flexible state.

From TechCrunch
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