Until now, robots that had the ability to grow could extend only about one to five times their body length and move at speeds of up to about 23.6 inches (60 centimeters) per hour. Now, Study lead author Elliot Hawkes, a roboticist at the University of California and his colleagues have developed a robot that can grow thousands of times its body length after "watching an English ivy plant, over the course of months, grow around the corner of my bookshelf seeking the sunlight and thinking that in a certain, very slow way, it was going somewhere." he said.This Magic Bot grows at speeds of up to 22 mph (35.4 km/h) and can grow from 11 inches to approximately 72 meters (2,835 inches). In comparison, the average man can run about 15 mph (24 km/h) for short periods, and the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, can run at up to about 28 mph (45 km/h), according to the National Council on Strength and Fitness.The newly developed robot is made of soft, flexible polyethylene, the most common plastic in the world. The robot grows from the tip by the use of air pressure, where it pushes the stored plastic tubing from its base. The tip of the robot has a built in camera, which senses light wherein it can transmit the data from the camera through a cable running through the robot\'s body. The body doesn\'t move as the tip extends,said Hawkes. That is, you could hold the body of the robot tightly in your hands, and the tip would keep growing.This type of robot can have multiple applications: From search-and-rescue operations where the robots can search for potential survivors, to minimally invasive surgery. Hawkes cautioned that their work isn't ready yet to fight a fire or perform a brain surgery tomorrow. But we hope it can lead to mature technologies that can make a difference in the world.Want to know more about this awesome device? Follow this link!
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