Why Robots That Bend Are Better

21 454 Vistas 2,2 M

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


  1. Laurence Pop
    Laurence Pop
    Hace 19 minutos


  2. Imroz Towhid
    Imroz Towhid
    Hace 43 minutos

    TARS? is that you?

  3. Bartek S
    Bartek S
    Hace un hora

    Oh dang! Kiełbasa right there!!!♥️

  4. MR.terra69
    Hace un hora

    Every one the robots will take over the world..... the robots haha soft robots go bbbbrrrrr

  5. hivek mosat
    hivek mosat
    Hace 2 horas

    The glamorous pollution commercially consist because opera randomly cause within a open july. crazy, rainy person

  6. jwpx11
    Hace 4 horas

    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.

    1. Christian Nieves
      Christian Nieves
      Hace 3 horas

      lol what? hahahhaha

  7. mind.hacker999
    Hace 4 horas

    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!

  8. Carlo052 G
    Carlo052 G
    Hace 5 horas

    Kill JESUS with Cinnamon. For they have no breath and cannot speak and hear. Cyborgs

  9. CrazyNoodles
    Hace 7 horas

    Who wants to bet which will come first Robot anime girls or colonization on mars

  10. Reanetse Moleleki
    Reanetse Moleleki
    Hace 7 horas

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

  11. Toughen Up, Fluffy
    Toughen Up, Fluffy
    Hace 8 horas

    It's just a hop, a skip, and a jump away from needing a leg up.

  12. nigel_bd
    Hace 8 horas

    just put some stans tire sealant inside the bot in case it springs a leak it'll seal itself

  13. embRellish e
    embRellish e
    Hace 9 horas

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

  14. Dark
    Hace 10 horas

    we're one step closer to having a real life baymax

    1. Любослав Николов
      Любослав Николов
      Hace 2 horas

      @Nevaehs Pets same

    2. Nevaehs Pets
      Nevaehs Pets
      Hace 5 horas

      I’m here before this gets 100 likes

    3. Kevin
      Hace 5 horas

      Okay Nerd 💀😆

  15. Vicente Esnaola
    Vicente Esnaola
    Hace 10 horas

    nice stuff!

  16. Blitz The Fox
    Blitz The Fox
    Hace 10 horas

    Bender: Shut up baby I know it!

  17. Klaus Hipp
    Klaus Hipp
    Hace 11 horas

    looks pretty useless at that dev. level.

  18. ki koy
    ki koy
    Hace 11 horas

    I see BIG HERO in the future

  19. Dipesh Satrange
    Dipesh Satrange
    Hace 12 horas

    Soft robots yeah

  20. Mark Vrankovich
    Mark Vrankovich
    Hace 12 horas

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

  21. Mat Blaz
    Mat Blaz
    Hace 13 horas

    Will you still call a robot to something that doesn't integrate electronics?

  22. Fernando Toledo
    Fernando Toledo
    Hace 13 horas

    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.

  23. TheTRUwins
    Hace 14 horas

    F...ng masks on your faces...?!?!?!?!??! REALLY?!?!?!?!?!

  24. PowerDust015 lastname
    PowerDust015 lastname
    Hace 14 horas

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

    1. Daniel Kintigh
      Daniel Kintigh
      Hace 12 horas

      but it can pick up basketballs! How many basketballs are on mars though...

  25. Monkey D. Luffy
    Monkey D. Luffy
    Hace 15 horas

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

  26. ThiSISAlivE DeatH
    ThiSISAlivE DeatH
    Hace 16 horas

    kiełbasa ❤

  27. Anupam Datta Sarkar
    Anupam Datta Sarkar
    Hace 16 horas

    Do they work at the bottom of the sea

  28. Necromancer
    Hace 16 horas

    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.

  29. Techno man
    Techno man
    Hace 17 horas

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

  30. cho202
    Hace 17 horas

    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.

  31. Tristan Möller
    Tristan Möller
    Hace 17 horas

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

  32. usertogo
    Hace 18 horas

    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!

  33. Story of Sharplyon
    Story of Sharplyon
    Hace 18 horas

    the future is bendy

    1. Garrett Bok
      Garrett Bok
      Hace 10 horas


  34. Max Law
    Max Law
    Hace 18 horas

    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.

    1. Fayetal Attraction
      Fayetal Attraction
      Hace 18 horas

      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.

  35. Butters Stotch
    Butters Stotch
    Hace 19 horas

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

  36. soinu foig
    soinu foig
    Hace 19 horas

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

  37. ScorieDivine
    Hace 19 horas

    This has to be lamest robot I have seen in a long, long time...

  38. TheBlackVoidInSpace // Person Person
    TheBlackVoidInSpace // Person Person
    Hace 19 horas

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

    1. • SuShi •
      • SuShi •
      Hace 19 horas

      Why would I imagine that

  39. Donut Man
    Donut Man
    Hace 19 horas

    I think I had a stroke trying to read the title

    1. soinu foig
      soinu foig
      Hace 19 horas


  40. Elvin K Saju
    Elvin K Saju
    Hace 20 horas

    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❤️❤️

    1. Kevin
      Hace 5 horas

      "Tough Situations" Lmao 😆💀

    2. Elvin K Saju
      Elvin K Saju
      Hace 18 horas

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

    3. Lord Midmight
      Lord Midmight
      Hace 19 horas

      Put the subtitles, is going to make it easier for you to understand

  41. хреновый свинья
    хреновый свинья
    Hace 20 horas

    And how are they better...

  42. Apocryphon
    Hace 20 horas

    *baymax intensefies*

    1. Coffee
      Hace 20 horas

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

  43. BlueSea
    Hace 20 horas

    its a sloth robot

  44. Hudi Storch
    Hudi Storch
    Hace 20 horas

    Zack hammond looks like James from the odd1sout

  45. Kotresh G
    Kotresh G
    Hace 21 un hora

    Coz robots that bend, can be smashed 😛

  46. cubax599
    Hace 21 un hora

    Lol that ice will be a LITTLE BIT thicker :)

  47. tleilaxu42
    Hace 22 horas

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

  48. shanemaneval16
    Hace 22 horas

    It's Baymax!

    Hace 22 horas

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

  50. Promi Akter
    Promi Akter
    Hace 22 horas


  51. Khizar Says
    Khizar Says
    Hace 23 horas

    Just use a long pool noodle 🤠. No compressed air bs.

  52. Mateusz Stawarski
    Mateusz Stawarski
    Hace 23 horas

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

  53. A
    Hace 23 horas

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

  54. Swirl AndTwirl
    Swirl AndTwirl
    Hace un día


  55. Konnies Egg
    Konnies Egg
    Hace un día

    The sex toys that are gonna come out of this technology...

  56. Carl Paulsen
    Carl Paulsen
    Hace un día

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

  57. 21Units
    Hace un día

    One thing came to mind... Baymax.

  58. Micheal Davis
    Micheal Davis
    Hace un día

    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.

  59. Rob Mckennie
    Rob Mckennie
    Hace un día

    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

    Hace un día

    Kiełbasa is the best part of this robot ;D

  61. Minato365
    Hace un día

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

    1. Tach
      Hace un día


  62. Genki G
    Genki G
    Hace un día

    alot of those toys kiwi co makes seem very familiar

  63. Ozil Gzbsj
    Ozil Gzbsj
    Hace un día

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

  64. The Kingdom
    The Kingdom
    Hace un día

    This is def one of the weirdest things I've seen in awhile.

  65. Nickolas StJohn
    Nickolas StJohn
    Hace un día

    this is basically a giant robotic muscle

  66. Dodici
    Hace un día

    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.

    1. Wendell Bezerra
      Wendell Bezerra
      Hace 17 horas

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

    2. Dodici
      Hace 18 horas

      @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!

    3. Wendell Bezerra
      Wendell Bezerra
      Hace 21 un hora

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

  67. Justin Buser
    Justin Buser
    Hace un día

    This would be pretty cool in livestock Applications. Especially bovine.

    Hace un día

    Me: you deserve more subs People: memes memes memes

  69. Futterman Farms
    Futterman Farms
    Hace un día

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

    1. Futterman Farms
      Futterman Farms
      Hace 16 horas

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

    2. BigBossBilly
      Hace 18 horas

      @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?

    3. Futterman Farms
      Futterman Farms
      Hace 18 horas

      @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?

    4. Ed Purcell
      Ed Purcell
      Hace un día

      For example?

  70. LightSource
    Hace un día


  71. erwinsyah nova
    erwinsyah nova
    Hace un día

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

    1. the unseen gamer tk
      the unseen gamer tk
      Hace un día

      Also no

    2. the unseen gamer tk
      the unseen gamer tk
      Hace un día

      Why do you need to know

  72. the ugly truth
    the ugly truth
    Hace un día

    If you wear a mask I don't watch

  73. Swift King
    Swift King
    Hace un día

    But can it go offroading?

  74. Rishabh Gupta
    Rishabh Gupta
    Hace un día

    I have a doubt what is the speed of darkness?

    1. Carlos_A_M
      Hace un día

      Same as light

    2. MochaFur
      Hace un día

      I dunno dark

  75. chulofreaks
    Hace un día

    dorito tumbleweed

    1. yummy foods
      yummy foods
      Hace 21 un hora


    2. caleb young
      caleb young
      Hace un día


    3. Konan Honim
      Konan Honim
      Hace un día

      N'ow I want doritos!! Thanks!!😤

    4. Goggle Man
      Goggle Man
      Hace un día


    5. Qaz_YT
      Hace un día


  76. David Robertson
    David Robertson
    Hace un día

    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?

  77. Héctor Cossio
    Héctor Cossio
    Hace un día

    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.

  78. Cxshedoutk
    Hace un día

    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?

  79. andybaldman
    Hace un día

    Why Robots That Bend Are Boring

  80. Drag0nEYE 1510
    Drag0nEYE 1510
    Hace un día

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

    1. Luca Montani
      Luca Montani
      Hace un día

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

  81. nimay13
    Hace un día

    I'm Bender baby, please insert liquor. Bendy robots are better.

  82. NDK0
    Hace un día

    That's it, rubber terminators are almost here

  83. Cenix
    Hace un día

    Because they can bend

  84. Michael Wylie
    Michael Wylie
    Hace un día

    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.

  85. Скуљски
    Hace un día

    Kiełbasa XDDD

  86. Frank Einstein
    Frank Einstein
    Hace un día

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

  87. Frogboy
    Hace un día

    these "soft" robots will be less lethal when the uprising happens

  88. J H
    J H
    Hace un día

    So like bone and muscle

  89. Danny Dunwell
    Danny Dunwell
    Hace un día

    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.

  90. turbo Flacko
    turbo Flacko
    Hace un día

    No doubt !

  91. ׁ
    Hace un día

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

  92. Spanky Harland
    Spanky Harland
    Hace un día

    soft robots remind me of drunk uncles.

  93. Big Phat Smoke
    Big Phat Smoke
    Hace un día

    No thank you some of these would be terrifying this is how skynet started

  94. Daphoes
    Hace un día

    aww the title made me think they build a "Bender"

  95. Maxx
    Hace un día

    Yes, but can a robot ever truly fart?

    1. Danny Dunwell
      Danny Dunwell
      Hace un día

      Pump it full of methane and put a buthole then absolutely

  96. Antonio Manaserian
    Antonio Manaserian
    Hace un día

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

  97. Business starten & online Geld verdienen!
    Business starten & online Geld verdienen!
    Hace un día

    Sausages with air in it in space. Yeah.

  98. russell
    Hace un día

    This only makes sense on the nano scale.

    1. Business starten & online Geld verdienen!
      Business starten & online Geld verdienen!
      Hace un día

      my first thought...

  99. russell
    Hace un día

    "Is the biggest risk if it pops?" 😂

  100. Pepbob
    Hace un día

    god i hate imperial so much