Reconfigurable Soft Millirobots

Loading Physical Intelligence Department


In nature, social insects, such as ants, bees, and termites, build large scale functional structures while tolerant to severe environmental disturbances and local failures. We propose a system composed of swarms of mobile soft robots able to collectively construct three-dimensional structures according to human-specified goals. Such goals may range from shape-templates to structures that shield from light, heat, or water. Soft robots may be able to navigate through unstructured terrain, be resistant to high impacts and a wide range of chemicals, and be cheaply manufactured. In alignment with their natural counterparts, we aim to create a system which is capable of long-term autonomous operation and is robust to failures both on the collective and individual level.

Project Members:

Kirstin H. Petersen