Squishy Lego Blocks to be Used to Build Flexible Robots

Scientists at Harvard University have used squishy Lego blocks to create robots that can move and bend at any angle.
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Scientists at Harvard University have used squishy Lego blocks to create robots that can move and bend at any angle.
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Photo Credit: © es0lex - Fotolia.com

Researchers from Harvard University have designed a new type of biomimetic robot that can bend at weird angles, inflate itself and channel liquids through itself in all directions. They designed the new bot by using squishy Lego-like blocks so that it can move like a snake or slug. 

When the channels are closed, the robots are able to expand and move around. When the channels are open, you can pump liquids through various configurations to reconfigure the robot's motions on the fly. 

The robots are also pretty inexpensive to make, according to TechCrunch, since they are made with a 3D printer and flexible plastic that sticks together. This allows people to quickly make squishy robot arms, or even circulatory systems. And, since the plastic snaps in and out like Lego blocks, systems can be swapped in and out. 

The robot is far from being mass produced, but the team envisions a bot that can eventually reconfigure itself by swapping its own parts in and out. 

See how the squishy robots work in the video below.