Inflatable robots

By Massimiliano Versace | September 22, 2012

One way in which robots will become more commonplace in our homes and working environments is by making the cheaper than today's. One of the most expensive components in a robot are actuators such as arms, which require often costly, complicated, and power-hungry designs. Annan Mozeika, Principal Robotics Engineer at iRobot Corporation, is leading his company's research efforts in inflatable robotics.

His project, funded by DARPA, features a PackBot modified with an inflatable arm. The robot, called the Advanced Inflatable Robot, or AIR, has an inflatable arm able to lift four times its own weight while while grabbing and clamping onto objects such as bottles. Annan's work is still an early stage effort, but Neurdons can already see how more inflatable robots can provide a cost and safety boost for many applications domains. See video below for a demostration.

Other links below:

Inflatable robots are a breeze to move around

Here come the inflate-a-bots: iRobot's AIR blow-up bot prototypes

About Massimiliano Versace

Massimiliano Versace is co-founder and CEO of Neurala Inc. and founding Director of the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab. He is a pioneer in researching and bringing to market large scale, deep learning neural models that allow robots to interact and learn real-time in complex environments. He has authored approximately forty among journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers, holds several patents, and has been an invited speaker at dozens of academic and business meetings, research and national labs, and companies, including NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Air Force Research Labs, Hewlett-Packard, iRobot, Qualcomm, Ericsson, BAE Systems, Mitsubishi, and Accenture, among others. His work has been featured in over thirty articles, news programs, and documentaries, including IEEE Spectrum, New Scientist, Geek Magazine, CNN, MSNBC and others. Massimiliano is a Fulbright scholar and holds two Ph.Ds: Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy; Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University, USA. He obtained his BS from University of Trieste, Italy.

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