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Growing into Soft Robotics

The field of soft robotics takes inspiration from living organisms, incorporating compliance into the design of robots. This enables a new frontier of robotic applications in especially delicate operations. The novel Vine Robot pushes the soft robot concept to the extreme.

Eversion: The Friction-Free Foundation

As the name suggests, Vine Robots simulate the growing mechanism of natural vines by everting the robot’s soft tube-shaped body from the tip. This exerts no frictional force on the robot’s surroundings, which is a key advantage for a host of tasks that other robots could not execute.

Swiss Army Vine Robot

A Vine Robot for Endoscopy Autonomous Surgery Search and Rescue Medical Intubation Space Exploration Equipment Inspection Electrical Installation Soil Sampling Agriculture

The Vine Robot platform is exceedingly versatile. From life-saving devices to extraterrestrial equipment, the applications of this technology are vast.

Hawkes Lab

The Vine Robot was originally conceived by Dr. Elliot Hawkes in 2017. Five years later, Hawkes’ lab at UC Santa Barbara has spun off multiple startups and developed many innovative executions of Vine Robot technology. Learn more about the group and see what other robots are coming about of the lab.

More Vine Robot Tech

The Inventors