Researchers are always looking for new ways to create flexible robots faster and cheaper. Engineers at the University of California San Diego have come up with a way to create soft, flexible 3D printed robots in minutes. It starts with a soft body with rigid features added later.
As the researchers explain:
The flexoskeletons are made from 3D printing a rigid material on a thin sheet that acts as a flexible base. They are printed with various features that increase rigidity in specific areas–again inspired by insect exoskeletons, which combine softness and rigidity for movement and support.
These components take 10 minutes to print and cost less than $1.