Please enable Javascript to use Top Secret Writers to it's fullest. Without it, you will find much of the modern internet doesn't work. I would add a little button hide this message, but that kind of functionality requires Javascript ;)

The Rise Of Ransomware: Crypto Viruses Are On The RisePrevious Article
Reported Marian Apparitions Are Still Happening Around the WorldNext Article

Inflatable Robotics: Not Just a Disney Fantasy

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article
Inflatable Robotics: Not Just a Disney Fantasy
In Big Hero 6, a young robotics genius must save the world after his microbot invention has been stolen and mass produced by an evil villain.

While this Disney film has a powerful and lovable protagonist with awesome animation features, don’t write off the effectiveness of inflatable robotics as mere fantasy. Thanks to DARPA, they’ve entered the real world. (1)

In reality, Baymax was inspired by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Maximum Mobility Manipulation (M3) program. (2)

Soft robotics is a new field of scientific research pioneered at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). (3)

The benefit to robots made of soft materials such as fabrics, balloons, and light plastics is that they are lighter weight and cost less to make than robots made of metal.




The State of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon’s The Robotic Institute (4) leads the way in innovative research in robotics. The program employs 50 full-time faculty specializing in state-of-the-art technology in space robotics, computer graphics, medical robotics, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and related fields. The program doesn’t just conduct research, but it also offers academic programs in robotics.

CMU is also home of the Soft Robotics and Bionics Lab (5), which conducts ongoing research on biomedical robotic systems, wearable rehabilitation devices, prosthetics, soft surgical tools, and more. Among the innovations currently being tested, the list includes artificial skin sensors and artificial human muscles. There may someday soon be a real Six Million Dollar Man. (6)

If all of that isn’t enough, there is plenty going on at CMU’s Soft Mechanic Lab. (7)

Carnegie Mellon isn’t the only place where soft robotics research is taking place. In 2011, Otherlab, with Meka Robotics, introduced a “pneubot” named Ant-Roach and developed an inflatable robot arm and hand. (8) Ant-Roach gets its name from its shape, which creators say is like a cross between an anteater and a cockroach. In essence, it’s a huge walking inflatable insect.

While Otherlab is a private research and development company operating as a for-profit entity, the soft robotics limb that inspired Disney’s Big Hero 6 was created by Siddharth Sanan, a student at CMU working on his doctoral thesis. (9)

Earlier in the year, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a soft robotic fish that moves like a real fish. (10)

All of this might have you wondering, what are the practical applications of such innovations. If you really want to know, with a 3-D printer you could print your own sex toys. (11)

baymax

Create Your Own Prosthetics or Robot-Servant

Actually, there are quite a few practical applications where inflatable robots can be useful. When 3-D printing becomes as common as the laserjet, all you’ll need is a soft robotics toolkit (12) and you’ll be able to make your own household items, from artificial limbs to your brand of inflatable house pets.

The visionaries see open design platforms becoming as revolutionary as open source software, allowing home-based engineers the same level of freedom as home-based Internet entrepreneurs.

There is still some ways to go in certain areas of soft robotics. For instance, researchers still are unsure about how to achieve sensing, actuation, and control in soft-bodied robots. (13)

There are also still questions to be answered about materials, tools, and methods of fabrication. Nevertheless, inflatable robotics are as real today as Disney animation, and it’s a matter of time before Baymax is walking your neighborhood.

References & Image Credits:
(1) DARPA
(2) DARPA M3 Program
(3) Carnegie Mellon University
(4) The Robotics Institute
(5) Soft Robotics and Bionics Lab
(6) IMDb
(7) Soft Mechanic Lab
(8) Hizook
(9) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(10) MIT News
(11) Popular Science
(12) Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
(13) IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Soft Robotics
(14) Carnegie Melon University
(15) DARPA: Image of Soft Robot

Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com

Fringe Science

Demonic Magicians: The Truth Behind the Tricks

Demonic Magicians: The Truth Behind the Tricks

We are drawn to the unexplainable. From ancient Roman conjurers debuting the “cup-and-ball” trick to TruTV’s comical Carbonaro Effect, magic has long held its place at the forefront of civilization’s [...]

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

BECOME A PATREON SUPPORTER and decide what stories we investigate!

Donate to Support TSW!





Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
 
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

Top Secret Writers

Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

Join Other Conspiracy Theory Researchers on Facebook!

Get a Top Secret Bumper Sticker!

Comment on Breaking Stories

Powered by Disqus