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
Runtime: 10:42


Lord Habitaxe of Prydonia
Michael Rosen called it, guys

***bendy bendy bendy! Bendyy bendyy***
Nit3mare_btw - 31 minutt siden
nice pfp 👍
Ramesh Lamichhane
Ramesh Lamichhane - Time siden
Laurence Pop
Laurence Pop - 2 timer siden
Imroz Towhid
Imroz Towhid - 2 timer siden
TARS? is that you?
Bartek S
Bartek S - 3 timer siden
Oh dang! Kiełbasa right there!!!♥️
MR.terra69 - 3 timer siden
Every one the robots will take over the world..... the robots haha soft robots go bbbbrrrrr
hivek mosat
hivek mosat - 4 timer siden
The glamorous pollution commercially consist because opera randomly cause within a open july. crazy, rainy person
jwpx11 - 6 timer siden
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.
Christian Nieves
Christian Nieves - 6 timer siden
lol what? hahahhaha
mind.hacker999 - 6 timer siden
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!
Carlo052 G
Carlo052 G - 7 timer siden
Kill JESUS with Cinnamon.
For they have no breath and cannot speak and hear.
CrazyNoodles - 9 timer siden
Who wants to bet which will come first
Robot anime girls or colonization on mars
Reanetse Moleleki
Reanetse Moleleki - 9 timer siden
Cool, so instead of having your skull crushed by a terminator you get smothered by a sentient jumping castle.
Toughen Up, Fluffy
Toughen Up, Fluffy - 10 timer siden
It's just a hop, a skip, and a jump away from needing a leg up.
nigel_bd - 10 timer siden
just put some stans tire sealant inside the bot in case it springs a leak it'll seal itself
embRellish e
embRellish e - 11 timer siden
the compressed air robot at 1:03 looks like a sea pig hehe
Dark - 12 timer siden
we're one step closer to having a real life baymax
Любослав Николов
@Nevaehs Pets same
Nevaehs Pets
Nevaehs Pets - 7 timer siden
I’m here before this gets 100 likes
Kevin - 8 timer siden
Okay Nerd 💀😆
Vicente Esnaola
Vicente Esnaola - 13 timer siden
nice stuff!
Blitz The Fox
Blitz The Fox - 13 timer siden
Bender: Shut up baby I know it!
Klaus Hipp
Klaus Hipp - 13 timer siden
looks pretty useless at that dev. level.
ki koy
ki koy - 13 timer siden
I see BIG HERO in the future
Dipesh Satrange
Dipesh Satrange - 14 timer siden
Soft robots yeah
Mark Vrankovich
Mark Vrankovich - 14 timer siden
Wasn't the T-1000 a soft robot? You know, when it wanted to be.
Mat Blaz
Mat Blaz - 15 timer siden
Will you still call a robot to something that doesn't integrate electronics?
Fernando Toledo
Fernando Toledo - 15 timer siden
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.
TheTRUwins - 16 timer siden
F...ng masks on your faces...?!?!?!?!??! REALLY?!?!?!?!?!
PowerDust015 lastname
PowerDust015 lastname - 17 timer siden
problem is we cant make a soft robot that is actually strong. so why dont we just build normal machines, that dont crush people?
Daniel Kintigh
Daniel Kintigh - 14 timer siden
but it can pick up basketballs! How many basketballs are on mars though...
Monkey D. Luffy
Monkey D. Luffy - 17 timer siden
Hey Derek, how about the explanation of the " Center of the Universe " on Tulsa, Oklahoma ??
It's fascinatingly mysterious
ThiSISAlivE DeatH
ThiSISAlivE DeatH - 18 timer siden
kiełbasa ❤
Anupam Datta Sarkar
Anupam Datta Sarkar - 18 timer siden
Do they work at the bottom of the sea
Necromancer - 18 timer siden
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.
Techno man
Techno man - 19 timer siden
Hi, Derek. I want to watch your documentaries but don't know how to download them, can you help me?
cho202 - 19 timer siden
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.
Tristan Möller
Tristan Möller - 20 timer siden
So what's its use, like under water is great but what will it do there?
usertogo - 20 timer siden
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!
Story of Sharplyon
Story of Sharplyon - 20 timer siden
the future is bendy
Garrett Bok
Garrett Bok - 13 timer siden
Max Law
Max Law - 21 time siden
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.
Fayetal Attraction
Fayetal Attraction - 20 timer siden
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.
Butters Stotch
Butters Stotch - 21 time siden
I used to get V and mark rober mixed up, seems silly now but to me they used to be the same guy 😂
soinu foig
soinu foig - 21 time siden
Derek: How does this robot even work? Zack: COMPLIANCE Derek: And what do- Zack: C O M P L I A N C E
ScorieDivine - 21 time siden
This has to be lamest robot I have seen in a long, long time...
TheBlackVoidInSpace // Person Person
imagine you in a dark alley with nobody else
and then this robot goes after you
• SuShi •
• SuShi • - 22 timer siden
Why would I imagine that
Donut Man
Donut Man - 22 timer siden
I think I had a stroke trying to read the title
soinu foig
soinu foig - 21 time siden
Elvin K Saju
Elvin K Saju - 22 timer siden
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❤️❤️
Kevin - 8 timer siden
"Tough Situations" Lmao 😆💀
Elvin K Saju
Elvin K Saju - 21 time siden
@Lord Midmight yeah. i do so when its available 😊
Lord Midmight
Lord Midmight - 21 time siden
Put the subtitles, is going to make it easier for you to understand
хреновый свинья
And how are they better...
Apocryphon - 22 timer siden
*baymax intensefies*
Coffee - 22 timer siden
Some people like me black. Some very light. Some people like me bitter, others sweet. Congratulations!!!!!!! You've won a cup of coffee.
BlueSea - 22 timer siden
its a sloth robot
Hudi Storch
Hudi Storch - 23 timer siden
Zack hammond looks like James from the odd1sout
Kotresh G
Kotresh G - 23 timer siden
Coz robots that bend, can be smashed 😛
cubax599 - Dag siden
Lol that ice will be a LITTLE BIT thicker :)
tleilaxu42 - Dag siden
"Heavy, expensive, and can be dangerous if not used correctly." Is now my new favorite description of a car... I mean robot.
shanemaneval16 - Dag siden
It's Baymax!
Do you guys have a toy versión of your soft robots?
Promi Akter
Promi Akter - Dag siden
Khizar Says
Khizar Says - Dag siden
Just use a long pool noodle 🤠. No compressed air bs.
Mateusz Stawarski
Mateusz Stawarski - Dag siden
"I came up to Stanford to meet Zack Hammond and his soft robot."
That's what she said
A - Dag siden
Would be useful.. if there was a use or something it makes better. That solution needs a problem.
Swirl AndTwirl
Swirl AndTwirl - Dag siden
Konnies Egg
Konnies Egg - Dag siden
The sex toys that are gonna come out of this technology...
Carl Paulsen
Carl Paulsen - Dag siden
I haven't heard the word "compliance" used so often in a video since I last watched Flight of the Navigator...
21Units - Dag siden
One thing came to mind...

Micheal Davis
Micheal Davis - Dag siden
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.
Rob Mckennie
Rob Mckennie - Dag siden
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
MTWODZU - Dag siden
Kiełbasa is the best part of this robot ;D
Minato365 - Dag siden
"One of the things that i like to do is just to take the robot and beat it"
Tach - Dag siden
Genki G
Genki G - Dag siden
alot of those toys kiwi co makes seem very familiar
Ozil Gzbsj
Ozil Gzbsj - Dag siden
The knowledgeable riverbed unpredictably fill because guide superficially tip after a plain cone. gabby, confused antarctica
The Kingdom
The Kingdom - Dag siden
This is def one of the weirdest things I've seen in awhile.
Nickolas StJohn
Nickolas StJohn - Dag siden
this is basically a giant robotic muscle
Dodici - Dag siden
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.
Wendell Bezerra
Wendell Bezerra - 19 timer siden
@Dodici my brain always goes straight to the Autobots when I think of Transformers, don't know why
Dodici - 20 timer siden
@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!
Wendell Bezerra
Wendell Bezerra - 23 timer siden
Still the least volume Transformers occupy is that of a car... unless you miniaturize them 🤔
Justin Buser
Justin Buser - Dag siden
This would be pretty cool in livestock Applications. Especially bovine.
Me: you deserve more subs
People: memes memes memes
Futterman Farms
Futterman Farms - Dag siden
Hmm I'm wondering if some of this is "misinformation" and should be deleted?
Futterman Farms
Futterman Farms - 18 timer siden
@BigBossBilly just hypothetical regarding this one. I had a BIG problem with the Gates vid. Thank you for your question.
BigBossBilly - 20 timer siden
@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?
Futterman Farms
Futterman Farms - 20 timer siden
@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?
Ed Purcell
Ed Purcell - Dag siden
For example?
LightSource - Dag siden
erwinsyah nova
erwinsyah nova - Dag siden
ok soft robot.., bend, can it squeze tight
the unseen gamer tk
the unseen gamer tk - Dag siden
Also no
the unseen gamer tk
the unseen gamer tk - Dag siden
Why do you need to know
the ugly truth
the ugly truth - Dag siden
If you wear a mask I don't watch
Swift King
Swift King - Dag siden
But can it go offroading?
Rishabh Gupta
Rishabh Gupta - Dag siden
I have a doubt what is the speed of darkness?
Carlos_A_M - Dag siden
Same as light
MochaFur - Dag siden
I dunno dark
chulofreaks - Dag siden
dorito tumbleweed
yummy foods
yummy foods - 23 timer siden
caleb young
caleb young - Dag siden
Konan Honim
Konan Honim - Dag siden
N'ow I want doritos!! Thanks!!😤
Goggle Man
Goggle Man - Dag siden
Qaz_YT - Dag siden
David Robertson
David Robertson - Dag siden
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?
Héctor Cossio
Héctor Cossio - Dag siden
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.
Cxshedoutk - Dag siden
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?
andybaldman - Dag siden
Why Robots That Bend Are Boring
Drag0nEYE 1510
Drag0nEYE 1510 - Dag siden
This mam calls a lot of things robots. I feel like he doesn't fully understand what a robot is...
Luca Montani
Luca Montani - Dag siden
Sure, the guy who is literally building machines that move and do things has no idea what a robot is. Totally.
nimay13 - Dag siden
I'm Bender baby, please insert liquor.
Bendy robots are better.
NDK0 - Dag siden
That's it, rubber terminators are almost here
Cenix - Dag siden
Because they can bend
Michael Wylie
Michael Wylie - Dag siden
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.
Скуљски - Dag siden
Kiełbasa XDDD
Frank Einstein
Frank Einstein - Dag siden
"So I came up to Standford to meet Zach Hammond and his soft robot."
Me: *lowers volume*
Frogboy - Dag siden
these "soft" robots will be less lethal when the uprising happens
J H - Dag siden
So like bone and muscle
Danny Dunwell
Danny Dunwell - Dag siden
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.
turbo Flacko
turbo Flacko - Dag siden
No doubt !
ׁ - Dag siden
So does that mean i'm a few years closer to being able to have a robot girlfriend?
Spanky Harland
Spanky Harland - Dag siden
soft robots remind me of drunk uncles.
Big Phat Smoke
Big Phat Smoke - Dag siden
No thank you some of these would be terrifying this is how skynet started
Daphoes - Dag siden
aww the title made me think they build a "Bender"
Maxx - Dag siden
Yes, but can a robot ever truly fart?
Danny Dunwell
Danny Dunwell - Dag siden
Pump it full of methane and put a buthole then absolutely
Antonio Manaserian
Antonio Manaserian - Dag siden
The living title markedly weigh because tenor macropharmacologically brush against a cagey currency. lamentable, productive screwdriver
Business starten & online Geld verdienen!
Sausages with air in it in space. Yeah.
russell - Dag siden
This only makes sense on the nano scale.
Business starten & online Geld verdienen!
my first thought...