There were not many sticky cases that MacGyver (the ’80s TV action hero) could not slip out of with the assistance of a penknife, disposable lighter, and two tabs of Alka Seltzer. His outside the box thinking and eccentric usage of scientific principles were what made him such a frightening adversary week after week. Now, a group of scientists from RAIL research lab of Georgia Tech is collaborating to impart those same endurance skills into robots.
The RAIL group, spearheaded by Lakshmi Nair (a PhD student), focused its study on skilling a robot to fabricate tools—screwdrivers, hammers, and ladles—out of whatever substances are handy. “So if a robot requires solving the task that needs a hammer,” Nair claimed to the, “it can combine a stone and a stick, for example, to be capable of creating a hammer.”
But this is much more than just displaying the bot an image of a hammer and asking it to make something similar. “It is situation-based,” Nair claimed. “So considering a specific situation, if it needs to hammer something, it understands which objects to merge together. So you are not offering it a particular example of a hammer, just informing it what the situation is.”
On a related note, soft robots commit a gentler, kinder approach to computerization, but they are frequently constrained by costs, complexity, and the requirement for wires. Luckily, Harvard scientists have discovered a method to ease matters. They have designed a softrobot boosted by pressurized air that does not require the various control systems that regularly guide these devices. A single input provides air to the legs of robot via tubes of varied sizes, which decides how those legs act. If you need the robot to move forward, you just have to allow the air flow via the correct set of tubes.
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