Nowadays, many robots that imitate some kind of living organisms have appeared, but there are still few that imitate the characteristics of plants.

Under such circumstances, “The Vinebot”, which was developed by a robot researcher at the University of California and a research team at Stanford University, is a robot with a new idea inspired by the characteristics of vines.

Application of features of the vine family

Speaking of robots, there is an image that they are made of a combination of hard metal parts, but “Vinebot” is made of a soft plastic tube, and by injecting air, it moves forward while growing like a “vine”. Can be done.
From this, it is possible to think of applications that take advantage of flexibility and applications that sneak into narrow spaces.

Although it has a plastic body, it boasts a load capacity of 100 kg, and as shown in the video, it is sturdy and will not tear even in passages lined with needles.

Utilization of “The Vinebot”

“The Vinebot” can contribute to disaster relief by finding people buried alive with an oxygen dioxide sensor and installing a camera.
By downsizing, it is expected to be used not only in rescue activities but also in the medical field, and it is said that a mechanism to stretch the body with liquid is under development, and if it is realized, it will be used for fire fighting activities and replenishment of drinking water. Can also be applied.

Although it is still in the development stage, free thinking will be the key to the evolution of robots. The research team is also considering using stronger fibers such as nylon and Kevlar in the future.