“Snap Instabilities,” Which Make Popper Toys Pop, Could Let Future Robots Propel Themselves

Having watched a gel strip dry, researchers have found a way to harness snap-buckling without the need for a manual reset phase.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Delft University of Technology, in partnership with the US Army, have published a paper detailing a way of giving materials the ability to propel themselves using only environmental energy flow — something the military is looking into for future robotics applications.

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