DeployBot - first deployed soft walking robot
Robotics is probably one of the most rapidly developing sectors of modern high technology. It is in the manufacture of robots are used the most advanced design. And recently, experts from South Korea created the first deployable robot made of soft materials, the ability to move without the use of motors and other mechanical components.
The robot got DeployBot name and is set in motion in the case where an electric current is passed through the wires consisting of a metal with a shape memory that is built into some body parts. The robot itself has a modular structure. The electric current heats the component that causes the flexible segments are set in motion. current supply controller enables electricity supplied separately to different segments by moving the robot.
The main advantage of this approach is the use of reliability in any environment due to the lack of mechanical systems. Researchers themselves suggest that DeployBot can easily be used to study the deep sea. A low cost of production and ease of design makes it an ideal candidate for space missions. One of the leaders of the project Faison Sun Hung Akhn from Seoul National University, said:
"DeployBot going from eight modules: four for the body and one for each of the four legs. When folded, the modules lie on the surface, and after deployment, they are transformed into a square shape. The modules are made of rigid and flexible material and contain embedded magnets which connect and hold together several modules. Inserts of metal with shape memory are responsible for the deployment and folding modules. It takes a few seconds. "
Now the main drawback is the robot movement speed does not exceed 2 meters per hour, but the scientists and engineers plan to extend the functionality of the robot and to increase the speed of its movement in the future. For example, new versions DeployBot they plan to use not only electric current but magnetic field, as well as pneumatic actuators.