Deformable robots would be endlessly useful. There are any number of materials available that can serve as the bodies of robots that would wiggle and wriggle; what’s lacking is electronics that are similarly deformable and would enable and control the movement. This is one of the inspirations for investigating liquid metal electronics, and the recent demonstration of a liquid metal switch is an encouraging sign that liquid metal electronics might be not just possible but also practical.
Some of the applications of deformable robots include “endoscopic manipulators for minimally invasive surgery, power-assist suits for human-movement support, and flexible agents for entertainment,” according to a paper from a group at Johns Hopkins who is developing algorithms for controlling the movement of such machines. Read more...
Reference: Electronic Product Magazine
Image: College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University