Scientists are creating earthworm-inspired soft robots, envisioning their flexibility as an advantage for penetrating hard-to-reach areas.
The Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)'s Riddhi Das said his team has developed a robot that bulges in and out laterally while stretching and contracting its length, using positive and negative pressure to generate outward force.
The 45-centimeter (1.5-foot)-long robot contains gel that simulates the earthworm's radial movements better than other types of liquid.
The University of Notre Dame's Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin called this an important achievement, as each of the robot's segments can expand in two directions, mimicking earthworm locomotion.
Meanwhile, researchers at multinational GE are engineering a self-propelling earthworm robot powered by pneumatic artificial muscles as a safer tool for installing underground utility infrastructure.
From BBC News
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