Soft-bodied burrowing robot no longer the stuff of dreams…

In this post, we’ll take a look at a really interesting robotics research project: a new snakebot that can burrow underground. Robots are making their way across land, sea, and air. Now, researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara and Georgia Tech have added burrowing underground to this list. Researchers used biology as inspiration to reduce the restrictive forces inherent in burrowing rather than combating them. The demonstration video below shows these principles in action:

Besides haunting you in your dreams, what are some practical applications of this robotic technology?

Researchers believe the snakebot has a wide variety of applications, such as soil sampling, underground installation of utilities, and erosion control. The way it moves via tip extension could even prove useful for exploring low gravity environments. NASA is already interested in technology. The team is currently working with NASA to develop burrowing for the moon and more distant bodies.

https://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/6/55

If you’d like to learn more about the burrowing soft robot, be sure to check out the full write up in Science Robotics found here.

What are your thoughts on this burrowing snakebot? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Have a great week everyone 😃

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