Why Robots That Bend Are Better

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Robots of the future may be softer, squishier and bendier than robots today. This could make them ideal for space exploration. Check out kiwico.com/Veritasium50 for 50% off your first month of any subscription!
On Thursday February 18th, 2021 the NASA Perseverance Rover will land on Mars. It is a wonderful robot, made out of steel and wire - but will future robots look like Perseverance? There is an emerging field of research on "soft robots", where the machines are flexible. These soft robots have many advantages over traditional robots - they're safer, lighter, more flexible and can change their shape and size.
NASA is investigating the use of soft robots for space missions. For future visits to Enceladus or Europa, a lander could cut a hole in the ice and then insert a compliant robot through the hole. This robot could then grow and change shape on the other side.
N. S. Usevitch, Z. M. Hammond, M. Schwager, A. M. Okamura, E. W. Hawkes, S. Follmer, An untethered isoperimetric soft robot. Sci. Robot. 4,
ve42.co/Hammond2020 - paper about the truss robot
ve42.co/Usevitch2020 - press release and video about the truss robot
Electronics-free pneumatic circuits for controlling soft-legged robots
Dylan Drotman1, Saurabh Jadhav, David Sharp, Christian Chan, Michael T. Tolley Sci. Robot. 6, eaay2627 (2021)
ve42.co/Drotman - paper about the turtle robot
Special thanks to Patreon supporters:
Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, jim buckmaster, Robert, fanime96, Marc Forand, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Grace O'Maille KRON x Arc iOS, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Lyvann Ferrusca, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex , Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal, Bryan Baker
Video supplied by Getty Images
Thanks to Zachary Hammond for showing me the soft truss robot
Filmed by Derek Muller
Edited and GFX by Trenton Oliver
Animation by Ivan Tello
Music by Jonny Hyman
Thumbnail by Ignat Berbeci, Dan Meyer

  • Interesting

    Laurence PopLaurence Pop42 perccel
  • TARS? is that you?

    Imroz TowhidImroz TowhidÓrája
  • Oh dang! Kiełbasa right there!!!♥️

    Bartek SBartek SÓrája
  • Every one the robots will take over the world..... the robots haha soft robots go bbbbrrrrr

    MR.terra69MR.terra692 órája
  • The glamorous pollution commercially consist because opera randomly cause within a open july. crazy, rainy person

    hivek mosathivek mosat2 órája
  • Hey Derek, I have a physics question for you, its kind of hard to explain while typing but it concerns controlling gravity. I think I have a 33% chance of this theory being correct, if you are interested I can give you my email later. Thanks, Josh.

    jwpx11jwpx114 órája
    • lol what? hahahhaha

      Christian NievesChristian Nieves4 órája
  • I love this video as a high schooler and a software lead and a captain of an FRC robotics team who loves and adored robots and robot making!

    mind.hacker999mind.hacker9995 órája
  • Kill JESUS with Cinnamon. For they have no breath and cannot speak and hear. Cyborgs

    Carlo052 GCarlo052 G5 órája
  • Who wants to bet which will come first Robot anime girls or colonization on mars

    CrazyNoodlesCrazyNoodles7 órája
  • Cool, so instead of having your skull crushed by a terminator you get smothered by a sentient jumping castle.

    Reanetse MolelekiReanetse Moleleki8 órája
  • It's just a hop, a skip, and a jump away from needing a leg up.

    Toughen Up, FluffyToughen Up, Fluffy8 órája
  • just put some stans tire sealant inside the bot in case it springs a leak it'll seal itself

    nigel_bdnigel_bd8 órája
  • the compressed air robot at 1:03 looks like a sea pig hehe

    embRellish eembRellish e9 órája
  • we're one step closer to having a real life baymax

    DarkDark10 órája
    • @Nevaehs Pets same

      Любослав НиколовЛюбослав Николов3 órája
    • I’m here before this gets 100 likes

      Nevaehs PetsNevaehs Pets5 órája
    • Okay Nerd 💀😆

      KevinKevin6 órája
  • nice stuff!

    Vicente EsnaolaVicente Esnaola11 órája
  • Bender: Shut up baby I know it!

    Blitz The FoxBlitz The Fox11 órája
  • looks pretty useless at that dev. level.

    Klaus HippKlaus Hipp11 órája
  • I see BIG HERO in the future

    ki koyki koy12 órája
  • Soft robots yeah

    Dipesh SatrangeDipesh Satrange12 órája
  • Wasn't the T-1000 a soft robot? You know, when it wanted to be.

    Mark VrankovichMark Vrankovich12 órája
  • Will you still call a robot to something that doesn't integrate electronics?

    Mat BlazMat Blaz13 órája
  • Is there a video of that tour/visit to Kiwi Co? I'm fascinated by their work and would love to see more from that teaser.

    Fernando ToledoFernando Toledo14 órája
  • F...ng masks on your faces...?!?!?!?!??! REALLY?!?!?!?!?!

    TheTRUwinsTheTRUwins14 órája
  • problem is we cant make a soft robot that is actually strong. so why dont we just build normal machines, that dont crush people?

    PowerDust015 lastnamePowerDust015 lastname15 órája
    • but it can pick up basketballs! How many basketballs are on mars though...

      Daniel KintighDaniel Kintigh12 órája
  • Hey Derek, how about the explanation of the " Center of the Universe " on Tulsa, Oklahoma ?? It's fascinatingly mysterious

    Monkey D. LuffyMonkey D. Luffy15 órája
  • kiełbasa ❤

    ThiSISAlivE DeatHThiSISAlivE DeatH16 órája
  • Do they work at the bottom of the sea

    Anupam Datta SarkarAnupam Datta Sarkar16 órája
  • Seems like they are pretty worthless because they have no inherent strength to complete tasks except perhaps to entertain children or to carry cameras on the meatal joints.

    NecromancerNecromancer16 órája
  • Hi, Derek. I want to watch your documentaries but don't know how to download them, can you help me?

    Techno manTechno man17 órája
  • Hey Derek, here's a video suggestion. How much does the 'Path of least resistance dictate your life?' Everything from putting a dirty plate into the sink less full to selecting the lane with the least amount of cars at a red light. Love the work you do! Thanks.

    cho202cho20217 órája
  • So what's its use, like under water is great but what will it do there?

    Tristan MöllerTristan Möller18 órája
  • dont waste your time making videos with masked people - they will be very ashamed once the depth of duping becomes obvious to all - thumbs down and unsub from me!

    usertogousertogo18 órája
  • the future is bendy

    Story of SharplyonStory of Sharplyon19 órája
    • Drones

      Garrett BokGarrett Bok11 órája
  • Typical vacuum tire uses latex-based internal sealant to auto-seal leaks. Also, some vehicles use soft rubber to completely replace air inside tires. Silicone foam resin or something similar can be mixed when the robot deployed, and foam would expand to fill the tube structures. It will be far better than a mere backup pump.

    Max LawMax Law19 órája
    • concessions would have to be made in terms of robot maneuverabilty right? the foam is naturally more difficult to compress than air. i think it would be great as a back up system tho, if they could find a light yet strong and elastic enough foam for structural support in those emergency situations, without adding too much weight to the robot.

      Fayetal AttractionFayetal Attraction18 órája
  • I used to get V and mark rober mixed up, seems silly now but to me they used to be the same guy 😂

    Butters StotchButters Stotch19 órája
  • Derek: How does this robot even work? Zack: COMPLIANCE Derek: And what do- Zack: C O M P L I A N C E

    soinu foigsoinu foig20 órája
  • This has to be lamest robot I have seen in a long, long time...

    ScorieDivineScorieDivine20 órája
  • imagine you in a dark alley with nobody else and then this robot goes after you

    TheBlackVoidInSpace // Person PersonTheBlackVoidInSpace // Person Person20 órája
    • Why would I imagine that

      • SuShi •• SuShi •20 órája
  • I think I had a stroke trying to read the title

    Donut ManDonut Man20 órája
    • Cool

      soinu foigsoinu foig20 órája
  • The only thing that makes me sad is that my first language is not english and i cannot understand you in tough situations. Love your channel❤️❤️

    Elvin K SajuElvin K Saju20 órája
    • "Tough Situations" Lmao 😆💀

      KevinKevin6 órája
    • @Lord Midmight yeah. i do so when its available 😊

      Elvin K SajuElvin K Saju19 órája
    • Put the subtitles, is going to make it easier for you to understand

      Lord MidmightLord Midmight19 órája
  • And how are they better...

    хреновый свиньяхреновый свинья20 órája
  • *baymax intensefies*

    ApocryphonApocryphon20 órája
    • Some people like me black. Some very light. Some people like me bitter, others sweet. Congratulations!!!!!!! You've won a cup of coffee.

      CoffeeCoffee20 órája
  • its a sloth robot

    BlueSeaBlueSea21 órája
  • Zack hammond looks like James from the odd1sout

    Hudi StorchHudi Storch21 órája
  • Coz robots that bend, can be smashed 😛

    Kotresh GKotresh G21 órája
  • Lol that ice will be a LITTLE BIT thicker :)

    cubax599cubax59922 órája
  • "Heavy, expensive, and can be dangerous if not used correctly." Is now my new favorite description of a car... I mean robot.

    tleilaxu42tleilaxu4222 órája
  • It's Baymax!

    shanemaneval16shanemaneval1622 órája
  • Do you guys have a toy versión of your soft robots?

  • Good

    Promi AkterPromi Akter23 órája
  • Just use a long pool noodle 🤠. No compressed air bs.

    Khizar SaysKhizar Says23 órája
  • "I came up to Stanford to meet Zack Hammond and his soft robot." ... That's what she said

    Mateusz StawarskiMateusz StawarskiNapja
  • Would be useful.. if there was a use or something it makes better. That solution needs a problem.

  • Cool

    Swirl AndTwirlSwirl AndTwirlNapja
  • The sex toys that are gonna come out of this technology...

    Konnies EggKonnies EggNapja
  • I haven't heard the word "compliance" used so often in a video since I last watched Flight of the Navigator...

    Carl PaulsenCarl PaulsenNapja
  • One thing came to mind... Baymax.

  • I'm very unimpressed. Other than a few space jobs, I can't see why he is so hyped about them. Rigid robots are the futur, they are not great right now, but once we manage to master their design, they will be much more useful. I'm thinking human shaped robots who can do basic chores which is already in good development, or androids that can do most jobs much further in the futur.

    Micheal DavisMicheal DavisNapja
  • i saw a video where a guy tried to make a thrust vectoring gimble for an rc plane using compliant mechanics, and the problem he had was that the compliance necessary to make the mechanism work also made the mechanism entirely too flexible to handle the thrust it was supposed to be steering. you can say "oh these robots are better because they aren't strong enough to hurt you" but it's still pointless if it's also not strong enough to do anything useful

    Rob MckennieRob MckennieNapja
  • Kiełbasa is the best part of this robot ;D

  • "One of the things that i like to do is just to take the robot and beat it" YOU MONSTER

    • ""Robot""

  • alot of those toys kiwi co makes seem very familiar

    Genki GGenki GNapja
  • The knowledgeable riverbed unpredictably fill because guide superficially tip after a plain cone. gabby, confused antarctica

    Ozil GzbsjOzil GzbsjNapja
  • This is def one of the weirdest things I've seen in awhile.

    The KingdomThe KingdomNapja
  • this is basically a giant robotic muscle

    Nickolas StJohnNickolas StJohnNapja
  • Okay so NASA needs robots that change their volume, disassemble and reassemble... They're called Transformers. Just say it, we can all relate to that.

    • @Dodici my brain always goes straight to the Autobots when I think of Transformers, don't know why

      Wendell BezerraWendell Bezerra18 órája
    • @Wendell Bezerra True, if it were an Autobot. Decepticons are another story, but you can always crossbreed with Honda Fits the best subcompact car of 2021!

      DodiciDodici18 órája
    • Still the least volume Transformers occupy is that of a car... unless you miniaturize them 🤔

      Wendell BezerraWendell Bezerra21 órája
  • This would be pretty cool in livestock Applications. Especially bovine.

    Justin BuserJustin BuserNapja
  • Me: you deserve more subs People: memes memes memes

  • Hmm I'm wondering if some of this is "misinformation" and should be deleted?

    Futterman FarmsFutterman FarmsNapja
    • @BigBossBilly just hypothetical regarding this one. I had a BIG problem with the Gates vid. Thank you for your question.

      Futterman FarmsFutterman Farms16 órája
    • @Futterman Farms I still don't quite understand you. Do you actually have a problem with any particular content in this video, or are you making a hypothetical point against censorship?

      BigBossBillyBigBossBilly18 órája
    • @Ed Purcell I was referring to his last vid with Gates where he said he agreed with Gates that "misinformation" should be deleted and not allowed to be online. This from the guy who did a vid on how many research papers are wrong??? and who gets to decide what is not ok? We still have not seen a retraction or ever a comment to defend the position. So I was just asking, how about this vid. Should some of it not be allowed?

      Futterman FarmsFutterman Farms19 órája
    • For example?

      Ed PurcellEd PurcellNapja
  • Baymax

  • ok soft robot.., bend, can it squeze tight

    erwinsyah novaerwinsyah novaNapja
    • Also no

      the unseen gamer tkthe unseen gamer tkNapja
    • Why do you need to know

      the unseen gamer tkthe unseen gamer tkNapja
  • If you wear a mask I don't watch

    the ugly truththe ugly truthNapja
  • But can it go offroading?

    Swift KingSwift KingNapja
  • I have a doubt what is the speed of darkness?

    Rishabh GuptaRishabh GuptaNapja
    • Same as light

    • I dunno dark

  • dorito tumbleweed

    • R/iamveryrandom

      yummy foodsyummy foods22 órája
    • baymax

      caleb youngcaleb youngNapja
    • N'ow I want doritos!! Thanks!!😤

      Konan HonimKonan HonimNapja
    • nice

      Goggle ManGoggle ManNapja
    • Nice

  • Sorry I just could not watch human robots wearing control devices on the face although it MAY have been interesting - if you survive the experimental nanobot infiltrating jab maybe you can make another without slave devices on?

    David RobertsonDavid RobertsonNapja
  • It always amazes me how the future end up giving us what we want, but always with a twist, we all dreaming with hard human like butler, but we'll probably end up with shape shifting sausages crawling around our houses, still pretty cool though.

    Héctor CossioHéctor CossioNapja
  • why dont you just give the information directly? i catch on to your hints buh you shouldnt be scared to teach the society uh mean like isnt tha the reason for your youtube channel?

  • Why Robots That Bend Are Boring

  • This mam calls a lot of things robots. I feel like he doesn't fully understand what a robot is...

    Drag0nEYE 1510Drag0nEYE 1510Napja
    • Sure, the guy who is literally building machines that move and do things has no idea what a robot is. Totally.

      Luca MontaniLuca MontaniNapja
  • I'm Bender baby, please insert liquor. Bendy robots are better.

  • That's it, rubber terminators are almost here

  • Because they can bend

  • I don't really know how you would use a soft robot like that but it is very cool and I can see that it needs to be developed as something is going to come from it. Like Spot from Boston Dynamics was developed and there is some very cool things coming from that now. I love seeing how the construction industry in particular is using Spot.

    Michael WylieMichael WylieNapja
  • Kiełbasa XDDD

  • "So I came up to Standford to meet Zach Hammond and his soft robot." Me: *lowers volume*

    Frank EinsteinFrank EinsteinNapja
  • these "soft" robots will be less lethal when the uprising happens

  • So like bone and muscle

    J HJ HNapja
  • I have a question... if the universe is expanding do you think it will continue endlessly until all the matter in the universe dies out or will it retract or maybe something else.

    Danny DunwellDanny DunwellNapja
  • No doubt !

    turbo Flackoturbo FlackoNapja
  • So does that mean i'm a few years closer to being able to have a robot girlfriend?

  • soft robots remind me of drunk uncles.

    Spanky HarlandSpanky HarlandNapja
  • No thank you some of these would be terrifying this is how skynet started

    Big Phat SmokeBig Phat SmokeNapja
  • aww the title made me think they build a "Bender"

  • Yes, but can a robot ever truly fart?

    • Pump it full of methane and put a buthole then absolutely

      Danny DunwellDanny DunwellNapja
  • The living title markedly weigh because tenor macropharmacologically brush against a cagey currency. lamentable, productive screwdriver

    Antonio ManaserianAntonio ManaserianNapja
  • Sausages with air in it in space. Yeah.

    Business starten & online Geld verdienen!Business starten & online Geld verdienen!Napja
  • This only makes sense on the nano scale.

    • my first thought...

      Business starten & online Geld verdienen!Business starten & online Geld verdienen!Napja
  • "Is the biggest risk if it pops?" 😂

  • god i hate imperial so much