By turning to the paper-based art form of kirigami for inspiration, a team of Harvard researchers has developed a system for programmable balloons that can take of all kinds of “crazy” shapes when inflated.
A couple of years ago, Harvard scientists copied the structure of snake skin to create a soft-bodied robot that gripped the ground as it moved. Now, they've applied that same thinking to shoe grips that could help keep seniors from falling.
Last year, a Harvard team revealed a snake-inspired soft robot that harnessed the ancient Japanese art of kirigami to create pop-up scales that allowed the robot propel itself along as it stretches and contracts. Now some tweaks have given the robot boosts in both speed and precision.