Most of the time, we would think of robots as being extremely tough hunks of metal, bringing upon destruction on the world (if it has been programmed to do so). Soft robots? That is not the normal train of thought, actually. Well, researchers over at Purdue University are currently working on a new kind of robotic fabric which will allow it to function in “soft” robots that are made out of foam as well as different kinds of lightweight materials. This particular team has managed to embed the fabric within alongside a flexible polymer which enables it to change shape as well as rigidity when heated.
This in turn will allow it to be contracted or relaxed at will. All that you need to do is to wrap a specifically assigned swatch of a cloth around a piece of foam, where it can then bend, wriggle or even move in different ways. Rebecca Kramer of Purdue University said, “We will be able to design reboots on the fly. Anything can be a robot because all of the robotic technology is in the fabric or skin.”