As MIT proved recently with its squishy artificial fish, robots don't need to be rigid to propel themselves along (or freak us out). A company called Super-Releaser has applied the same logic for Glaucus, its new open-source soft robot. Unlike its swimming counterpart, this bot "walks" across land using air pressure to pump up different parts of its limbs in sequence. Admittedly, that results in a locomotion speed similar to the sea slug it's named after (see the video after the break) and it requires a tether. Still, the company is developing much more practical applications that use the same tech, like orthotic cuffs for rehabilitation and prosthetic sleeves for amputees. You can even 3D print a bot yourself using Thingiverse files and (slowly) terrify your friends.

Public Access