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This Robot Doesn't Need Any Electronics

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air-powered quadruped robot

The robot's walking process is driven by a series of valves.

Credit: University of California San Diego

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a four-legged soft robot that doesn't need any electronics to work. The robot only needs a constant source of pressurized air for all its functions, including its controls and locomotion systems.

The work is described in "Electronics-Free Pneumatic Circuits for Controlling Soft-Legged Robots," published in the journal Science Robotics.

"This work represents a fundamental yet significant step towards fully-autonomous, electronics-free walking robots," says Dylan Drotman, a Ph.D. student at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. 

Applications include low-cost robotics for entertainment, and robots that can operate in environments where electronics cannot function.

"With our approach, you could make a very complex robotic brain," says Michael T. Tolley, the study's senior author. "Our focus here was to make the simplest air-powered nervous system needed to control walking."

From University of California San Diego
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