Source: University of California, San DiegoSource: University of California, San DiegoA team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have devised a new technique for 3D printing soft, flexible robots.

The so-called “flexoskeletons” are robots with soft, 3D-printed bodies that can be assembled with rigid components to mimic the exoskeletons of insects, which are in possession of both soft and rigid components.

Previously, such robots were created in the reverse, with the rigid body components created first and the soft components added later. However, the new process, according to researchers, expedites the time it takes to create such robots. Printing and assembly of the soft robot bodies can occur in under two hours, according to the team.

Eventually, the engineering team hopes to use the technique to manufacture fleets of exoskeleton robots that can be assembled with rigid components that are swappable.

The research appears in the journal Soft Robotics.

To see how the robots are created, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of the University of California, San Diego.

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