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 the director of the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab. The lab focuses on the study of biological intelligence with the goal of embedding the derived fundamental principles in bio-inspired computers and robots. His research interests are focused on neural networks – in particular applied to spiking-based neural models of learning and memory in the cerebral cortex. With a few colleagues, he founded Neurala LLC in 2006 to commercialize brain-based software. For more info, visit his website

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