Soft robot from Michigan State University uses traveling‑wave motion to move in complex, narrow environments.


  • Reduced costs
  • Flexible
  • Dynamic


  • Search and rescue
  • Surveillance

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

The Challenge

Robots often use extra limbs or wheels to move around. These appendages can be restrictive in certain environments due to their shape and size. This prevents many robots from operating in complex, constrained environments.

Innovation Details

The robot has a 3D-printed modular structure. It uses a pneumatic system with only four air channels regardless of the length of the robot. Due to its configuration, it is able to travel in tight, narrow pipelines of different diameters and geometries.

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