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Soft Robot Walks by Repeatedly Blowing Itself Up

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The actuators are made to operate continuously at high cycle frequencies without melting.

The tiny quadruped robot can jump by using combustion actuators.

Credit: Cameron Aubin

Researchers at Cornell University and Israel's Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have engineered a soft quadruped robot that locomotes via internal combustion.

The machine features two combustion-chamber actuators within which a mixture of methane vapor and oxygen is ignited with an electric spark.

The chambers' tops balloon upward, generating 9.5 newtons, with each chamber driving two legs; the combustion cycle can repeat 100 times per second.

The researchers estimate the robot can run continuously more than 750,000 cycles (8.5 hours at 50Hz) without losing performance.

The 1.6-gram device can jump 59 centimeters (23.2 inches) up and carry 22 times its own weight while walking.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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