GE, DARPA developing earthworm-inspired tunneling robotMarie Donlon | May 29, 2020
The General Electric Company (GE) has developed a prototype of an autonomous tunnel digging robot designed to resupply U.S. military forces in the field.
Mimicking the motions of an earthworm, the robot has been designed to move underground, digging a network of tactical tunnels. The robot is reportedly capable of moving forward and displacing dirt by inflating its artificial muscles.
Developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research arm of the Pentagon, in support of the Underminer Project, the so-called robo-worm is undergoing further modifications so that it will eventually be able to autonomously dig 10 cm per second.
Additionally, the team intends to develop solutions for underground navigation, which could prove difficult without reachable GPS signals.
To see the robo-worm in action, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of GE.