Meshworm… Meshworm…

Outside my office a torrent rages, bringing thunder and rain to a dry city.  As the city dwellers rush for cover, the earthworm basks in the drops.  Wait is this slithering thing a robot? Well, if you are in Boston outside Harvard Yards or MIT it could be…

Earlier this week it was announced that DARPA funded scientists at MIT and Harvard have created a breakthrough autonomous robot called Meshworm.  This soft-body robot sneaks and flexes just like a real worm, except its muscles are nickel and titanium.  Using an electric current Meshworm is able to contract and extend its body like our friend the inchworm.  It can even cope with a lot of abuse, as it gets hit by a heavy hammer or an adult foot (note: it has yet to meet my five year old twins that would split it in half).  While this robotic lumbricus terrestris is still being tested on a wide variety of surfaces, it offers hope for new endoscope and prosthetics with shape morphing technology.

I need to rush out right now, but as always be careful where you step as your foot might be squashing the next billion dollar military surveillance toy.

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