Soft “Continuum” Robot Walks on Air -Filled tentacles
This quadruped is called a continuum robot, which means that it’s got limbs (or arms or manipulators or what have you) that are curvy and flexible. The amount of curvature in each leg can be adjusted by altering the air pressure inside the three air-filled tubes that act as muscles and bones, and by doing this rapidly and in the right sequence, the robot can wiggle its way across a variety of surfaces at a speed that’s somewhere between silly and menacing
One particularly nice feature about air-filled limbs is that they’re inherently compliant, which is a fancy robot term for bendy. They make great shock absorbers, and you can also beat on them with staplers (among other things) and they won’t break, mostly because there’s nothing in there to break: they’re just tubes with air inside. When fully inflated, the limbs are nearly rigid; they’re springy when partially inflated, and they’re soft when uninflated to the point where the robot can stuff itself into small holes.