Researchers at Cornell University and Israel's Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have engineered a soft quadruped robot that locomotes via internal combustion.
The machine features two combustion-chamber actuators within which a mixture of methane vapor and oxygen is ignited with an electric spark.
The chambers' tops balloon upward, generating 9.5 newtons, with each chamber driving two legs; the combustion cycle can repeat 100 times per second.
The researchers estimate the robot can run continuously more than 750,000 cycles (8.5 hours at 50Hz) without losing performance.
The 1.6-gram device can jump 59 centimeters (23.2 inches) up and carry 22 times its own weight while walking.
From IEEE Spectrum
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