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Spherical Soft Robots Can Roll And Jump

By Evan Ackerman

This may not look like the most promising design for a robot, but there’s a lot of potential to be had with robots that can change their shape. These robots, from Ritsumeikan University in Japan, are constructed with spherical shells of spring steel attached to an inner core (which contains the power source and electronics) via shape memory alloy wires. Applying voltage to the wires causes them to contract, deforming the shape of the robot. By doing this, the robot can change its center of gravity to roll in any direction…

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