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Watch this soft robot walk through snow and get squished by a car

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 8, 2014
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Soft robots aren't just supremely flexible; they can take quite a bruising, too. If you need proof, a team of Harvard and Cornell researchers has developed a rugged soft robot that can survive conditions which would wreck stiffer machines. As you'll see in the video below, the automaton's silicone shell has no trouble wading through snow, walking over fire and enduring the crush of a car's tires. It's a bit of a workhorse as well, with upgraded pneumatics that can carry loads up to about 18 pounds. This is still early technology -- the bot doesn't move quickly, and its battery lasts a mere two hours -- but it's proof that squishy robots are well-suited to working in dangerous situations.

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