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A 'Lego-Like' Vacuum-Powered Robot Can Reassemble Into Other Machines

These fleshy-looking body parts aren't for humans; they're actually the building blocks for a new soft robot.

A team of researchers built a set of robotic body parts from foam and silicone. And like Legos, the robot's parts are interchangeable and can be swapped to create a variety of tools.

For example, when the robot is equipped with suction cups, it can become an arm.

SEE MORE: These Robots Can 'Heal' Themselves

Those suction cups could also be used as feet. The same team created a caterpillar-like robot that can carry objects up a wall.

The vacuum-powered prototypes deflate parts of themselves to move around. If walking doesn't work, the robot can wiggle or roll.

The designers said their technology could be a cheap way for educators, researchers or hobbyists to experiment with soft robots.


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