Why Robots That Bend Are Better

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


  • Ewan McLean
    Ewan McLean6 orë më parë

    This means we’re soon to get an AvE video called “Why robots that bend aren’t better”

  • Casey Keyser
    Casey Keyser14 orë më parë

    How long until Baymax is real? :)

  • Rusty
    Rusty14 orë më parë

    turn every robot into soft robots to prevent the uprising

  • Jaury Beltrão Engers
    Jaury Beltrão Engers22 orë më parë

    Guys... BAYMAX from Big hero 6... He is a soft robot right? And he gives the safe vide.

  • Kinc3per
    Kinc3perDitë më parë

    I haven’t been paid to say that I am currently in the kiwi co sub rip toon thing and really enjoy it.

  • Road Rash
    Road RashDitë më parë

    So when are you going to make Baymax?

  • First Last
    First LastDitë më parë

    A goey

  • viewer
    viewer2 ditë më parë

    is it of any use for anything ?

  • S o
    S o2 ditë më parë

    Move able parts yes but totally soft robots? Dude seriously no. We need something with the origami technique that should do the trick.

  • John Kelton
    John Kelton2 ditë më parë

    That’s super cool, and super useless

  • Neon Eviscerator
    Neon Eviscerator3 ditë më parë

    Asserting that any kind of robot or machine is 'better' is very misleading. Please stop doing it it pisses me off. It's true that machines like this are better suited for certain applications than current technologies, but no technology is objectively 'better' than any other, it all depends entirely on what you're designing it to do.

    GREY ALIEN3 ditë më parë

    Makes me think of a portable bridge that can reach different elevations . Mobil and strong maybe even remote

  • Richard Samuelson

    Richard Samuelson

    5 orë më parë

    "Mobil"? That's a brand of petrol stations...

  • Voltaic Fire
    Voltaic Fire3 ditë më parë

    Love it!

  • Kryptonite
    Kryptonite3 ditë më parë

    1.5k thumbs down from hard robots

  • A man of no reputation
    A man of no reputation3 ditë më parë

    They're benders.

  • Marcy
    Marcy3 ditë më parë

    Polish sausage robot! That's brilliant! :D

  • dav snow
    dav snow3 ditë më parë

    I'm so bloody glad I don't wear headphones.

  • M L
    M L3 ditë më parë

    An octahedral octopus? An octahedropus?

  • Mr Picky
    Mr Picky4 ditë më parë

    yes all the metal parts and gears look very soft

  • FeedMeSalt
    FeedMeSalt4 ditë më parë

    The primary reason for hard bots is strength accuracy stability and durability. A sooft machine will tear apart over long periods of time and wont repeat the same exact motion well, as you said, where as say tracks or a foot need lubed and replaced every year/decade.

  • Some Random Guy

    Some Random Guy

    18 orë më parë

    But due to the materials they’re made out of, wouldn’t it be quite easy to remake or at least mass produce these robots?

  • mzar62458


    Ditë më parë

    Are there any stats on this?

  • ShaunBonJovi
    ShaunBonJovi4 ditë më parë

    Why wear a mask outside? I can see the inspiration for this soft robot is not porn related.

  • JamieJamez
    JamieJamez6 ditë më parë

    We are now one step closer to creating Rover from "The Prisoner".

  • Gunzo Berelo
    Gunzo Berelo7 ditë më parë

    Why knees make human movement better?! :D :D Ou this fun vid descriptions :D

  • 진실추적
    진실추적7 ditë më parë

    Good morning I am a young man in Korea Korea is now entering an aging society If you introduce it to Korea from the beautiful country of the United States, please tell us some things that can help the weak and the elderly and help Korea. Korea is severely corrupted by corruption and corruption. Please help Korea.

  • Mc Len
    Mc Len7 ditë më parë

    100% Big hero 6 inspired soft robots hahaha very flexible.

  • Kroidi
    Kroidi7 ditë më parë

    you should make your voiceover monophonic I think, it makes it better I promise

  • Rabee J
    Rabee J7 ditë më parë

    I wonder whether a tubeless tire sealant would proof this robot against punctures

  • rawrshack tsu
    rawrshack tsu7 ditë më parë

    So you made the same video, twice. Good job.

  • Pola & Tiger
    Pola & Tiger8 ditë më parë

    Why soft robots are better. Because they are closer to the build of living creatures. And evolution shows that we are build very well. Our hard bones tend to break and our soft flesh and skin protects them. Soft robots are more fit than the hard ones. And of course that one robot is a hybrid, just like us, humans and aliens.

  • El John Kraft
    El John Kraft8 ditë më parë

    Is it just me or did i just take 5 minute to understand the title, i lost to much brain cells to understand

  • potezny plemnik
    potezny plemnik9 ditë më parë

    polska mentioned

  • Ferrlix
    Ferrlix10 ditë më parë

    GUI = gooey?

  • savagex466
    savagex46610 ditë më parë

    I wouldent say there better. It depends what you want it for.

    HARI n DAMODARA11 ditë më parë

    0:48 , 2 Rs Mask is famous everywhere ❤️

  • Nediak
    Nediak11 ditë më parë

    Compliant robots could definitely have use in rescue through tight places

  • HowToBuildIt
    HowToBuildIt11 ditë më parë

    I get kiwico crates (mine is tinker crate)

  • John McGill
    John McGill12 ditë më parë

    Kiwi Co is definitely something that would interest me when I have kids

  • Ryan W
    Ryan W13 ditë më parë

    “...as we want robots to work closer and closer with humans.” 😳😳😳

  • hxhshow9
    hxhshow913 ditë më parë

    until 5:58 i had absolutely no idea what this video was about.

  • Felipe Rogel
    Felipe Rogel13 ditë më parë

    not a single Bender reference...

  • leo sema
    leo sema13 ditë më parë

    This guy makes adverts more interesting

  • Efrain Munoz
    Efrain Munoz14 ditë më parë

    Corporations gotta corporate.

  • Yuri Lopes
    Yuri Lopes14 ditë më parë

    "Soft Robots That Bend Are Better" Interstellar: MONOLITH

  • Joe Alias
    Joe Alias14 ditë më parë

    "but why would you want to soft robot in the first place?" WELL HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO CUDDLE A HARD ROBOT??

  • Jakub Jandourek
    Jakub Jandourek14 ditë më parë

    ... and the robots they bend are the best!

  • Aniket Goel
    Aniket Goel15 ditë më parë

    Baymax! OP!

  • Mtpb83boss
    Mtpb83boss15 ditë më parë

    The person who invented the wheel is rolling in their grave right now

  • Deepesh Malhotra
    Deepesh Malhotra15 ditë më parë

    Boston Dynamics left the chat...

  • Harsh Sawant
    Harsh Sawant15 ditë më parë

    Bender is not happy

  • Thanga Meenakshi
    Thanga Meenakshi15 ditë më parë

    "Why would you want a soft robot" Ummm... My friend's research purposes.

  • Vintage USA Tech
    Vintage USA Tech16 ditë më parë

    If you don't think that you are being programmed by the influencers that you watch. Play the shot game and every time you see someone wearing a mask in this video and use the word compliant well you know the game and a double bonus for those of you that pick up on the other words that have recently been added to our public narrative. But those of you who can't see it never mind me and just OBEY!

  • Baek-Hyeon Jang
    Baek-Hyeon Jang16 ditë më parë

    big hero six?

  • Jacob Ford
    Jacob Ford16 ditë më parë

    I mean when you think about it, humans are squishy and we work pretty well.

  • StrangeTerror


    3 ditë më parë

    @Papa Hairy maaaaybe 😉

  • Poldovico


    3 ditë më parë

    @StrangeTerror Well, it's not secondary anymore.

  • Papa Hairy

    Papa Hairy

    3 ditë më parë

    @StrangeTerror watched the recent scishow video about the original purpose of bones, have you?

  • StrangeTerror


    4 ditë më parë

    @Edgar Omar Loroña Perez Actually the structural support of our bones seems to be a secondary function. Originally they were just little chunks of calcium and magnesium. Spread throughout the body to be used as mineral storage/buffers. Now obviously that was long before we were even reptiles much less mammals

  • Pola & Tiger

    Pola & Tiger

    8 ditë më parë

    Hybrid is the answer. Bones hard, flesh soft.

  • Państwo Piesto
    Państwo Piesto16 ditë më parë

    I'm no longer afraid of the judgement day.

  • Christopher Reisner
    Christopher Reisner16 ditë më parë

    No disrespect to the robot, but my favorite part was the Kiwi Co. ad at the end. Those kits make me wish I had a couple of school age kids running around so I could play with their toys. 😁 Kids' brains are just information sponges until they hit puberty.

  • UberKrassMann
    UberKrassMann16 ditë më parë

    oh you think that robot is safe do you? just wait till it figures out how to squeeze the life out of you boa constrictor style.

  • Huntracony
    Huntracony16 ditë më parë

    Bad title. Disliked. This is "The advantages of soft robots," and I'd definitely say they're interesting, but everything I've seen in this video is in the proof-of-concept stage and have only demonstrated the ability to move on a flat surface and pick up a ball. Note, by the way, that I don't think it can actually carry the ball as that entire triangle cannot move without dropping the ball. Yes, this is cool and has _theoretical_ benefits, but until (and unless) it is fully developed (and I hope it will be), you can't say they're better.

  • Just Click It And Watch
    Just Click It And Watch17 ditë më parë

    Small ball joints in compound form

  • MrEnajiza
    MrEnajiza17 ditë më parë

    cant wait for the robots that bend over !!!

  • Aurtisan Miner
    Aurtisan Miner17 ditë më parë

    4:04. He must be thinking, “I knew clown school would come in handy one day!”

  • StarStump
    StarStump17 ditë më parë

  • this guy
    this guy17 ditë më parë

    This robot and Robocop would be best mates. Because, compliance.

  • Matthew Warren
    Matthew Warren18 ditë më parë

    Okay, I need to know what's going on with the string at 9:58 with Mark Rober

  • Thanga Meenakshi

    Thanga Meenakshi

    15 ditë më parë

    I'd guess that the string is actually a very thin tube connected to a slow air pump. Look exactly like a tube inflating

  • NiceLord
    NiceLord19 ditë më parë

    Omg I was thinking of Baymax, so it was so cool when he mentioned him!

  • ’̈́
    ’̈́19 ditë më parë


  • Lance Cruwys
    Lance Cruwys19 ditë më parë

    Do you not still need electronics to power these soft robots? I don't see how that would benefit miners. I'm one confused dude.

  • Nellit McKerin
    Nellit McKerin19 ditë më parë

    Huh I guess that's the direction humanity decided to go in. Soft and agile machines.

  • Fairyplay
    Fairyplay19 ditë më parë

    "I have a GUI in Matlab", what a fucken madlad lol.

  • MammothBehemoth
    MammothBehemoth19 ditë më parë

    That pneumatic turtle thing is more ground breaking, in how I see it. Most of our mechanical implements are driven by circular mechanics. Drills, vibrations, pumping motion, swaying arms, rolling, picking, sorting, etc...utilizing rotors, rollers, tubes, chains, fulcrum, arms, weights, etc..everyday mechanics are usually driven by a rotating or semi rotating engine.

  • Chad T
    Chad T20 ditë më parë

    this is dumb and isn't practical. biggest contribution is whatever models are developed. but you can waste 5 years getting a phd in it just to go work for google or tesla, doing something that's not soft robots, and then need to make up for the 5 years of wages you missed out on. with too specialized a field your employers are limited and less time available to job hop your breakeven ends up around age 35 - 40, congrats you wasted the best years of your life (at least financially).

  • Yi Zhang
    Yi Zhang20 ditë më parë

    You should've put the Big Hero Six reference at the beginning of the video to hook more viewers.

  • manton harding
    manton harding20 ditë më parë

    If you built a ten thousand of those out of kevlar you could be a bond Villain.

  • Mayur
    Mayur20 ditë më parë

    People are so smart..

  • Fleato
    Fleato20 ditë më parë

    soooooooo boston dynamics is making gundams, and these guys are making baymax XD

  • Connor Hobbs
    Connor Hobbs20 ditë më parë

    You could probably use this concept to made extremely small to store, and easily replaceable wheels. Combined with the ability to inflat them from an external compressor than stored, and transported gasses. They provide a good weight and size saving on a payload

  • Carter
    Carter20 ditë më parë


  • Sun Gear
    Sun Gear20 ditë më parë

    Use foam tubes?

  • Jac Crystal
    Jac Crystal20 ditë më parë

    The curve always has it. Imagine a flat planet, it'd crack in the middle. Ain't no lines anyway but objects in a certain disposition to each other, static or moving.

  • Seraphim Chekotun
    Seraphim Chekotun20 ditë më parë

    Mmmhhhh "soft robot" I think about Baymax!

  • Fortnum Sound
    Fortnum Sound21 ditë më parë

    Compliant. Unlike George Floyd

  • Mattia Giambirtone
    Mattia Giambirtone21 ditë më parë

    You know someone is a researcher when they make GUIs in MATLAB, yikes

  • james jayawara
    james jayawara22 ditë më parë

    So robot waifus that are soft are possible...

  • james jayawara

    james jayawara

    17 ditë më parë

    @Stacy McCabe No.

  • Stacy McCabe

    Stacy McCabe

    17 ditë më parë

    Stop what your thinking

  • Quillo Manar SFM
    Quillo Manar SFM22 ditë më parë

    "WE named them after sausages" And one of them isn't the Wurst, you disappoint me.

  • Smyczeq


    21 ditë më parë

    You have Kiełbasa tho

  • fritz
    fritz22 ditë më parë

    awesome and i they look like more alive

  • NickNew
    NickNew23 ditë më parë

    'Soft Robot " is my pet name for my boyfriend

  • the engineer

    the engineer

    20 ditë më parë

    i call my loved one "steel mann"

  • Living Trashbag

    Living Trashbag

    20 ditë më parë

    Umm is he impotence??

  • Augustine Mcrae
    Augustine Mcrae23 ditë më parë

    The synonymous pelican selectively object because aftershave rheologically start since a watery french. true, spotty era

  • Brendan Cross

    Brendan Cross

    20 ditë më parë

    Please help, I tried to read this and now smell burnt toast

  • Mhu
    Mhu23 ditë më parë

    "sir... SIR!!" "Get me, ONE O' THOSE"

  • Jesse Martinez
    Jesse Martinez23 ditë më parë

    😂🤦🏽‍♂️🤖 I see how his world is destroying his self now😂😂😂🥱

  • Jesse Martinez
    Jesse Martinez23 ditë më parë

    1:44 I like how these people think We’re Stupid how come you don’t kick the Metal

  • Josh Lewis
    Josh Lewis23 ditë më parë

    So we have already created 2 general species, or genus of robots. Soft, and Hard. I imagine in a scientific fiction future, the Hard robots will dominate the Soft robots.

  • Furinick


    19 ditë më parë

    I need to get my mind out of the gutter

  • Cherry Sun
    Cherry Sun23 ditë më parë


  • Paul Murray
    Paul Murray24 ditë më parë

    "But why would you want a soft robot in the first place?" Because they are fricking awesome and look creepy/cool, that's why. Honestly. Some people got no soul.

  • Jesse Martinez

    Jesse Martinez

    23 ditë më parë

    😂🤦🏽‍♂️🤖 I see how his world is destroying his self now😂😂😂🥱

  • Jesse Martinez

    Jesse Martinez

    23 ditë më parë

    1:44 I like how these people think We’re Stupid how come you don’t kick the Metal

  • Keshuel


    23 ditë më parë

    Being creepy/cool doesn’t make it worth investing millions into. Honestly. Some people got no brains.

  • derald snipes
    derald snipes24 ditë më parë

    Show the one inserted inside a sphere

  • Piotr S-a
    Piotr S-a24 ditë më parë

    Polish sausage rulez ✌🏻👍🏻😎🌭 Best greetings from Poland! 🇵🇱🙂

  • Jesse Gibbons
    Jesse Gibbons24 ditë më parë

    We've got punctuated rolling locomotion. Now how about we make substitutiary locomotion work?

  • 1k4r0
    1k4r024 ditë më parë

    cxu iu parolas esperanton kun mi

  • sudd
    sudd24 ditë më parë

    mask wearing sheeple, time to stop be the problem and start being the solution. is not mask hysteria a symptom crazy enough to realize we have gone to far?

  • MsGen ÒxÓ

    MsGen ÒxÓ

    24 ditë më parë

    Shut up

  • Chouci Vang
    Chouci Vang25 ditë më parë

    My word of the day is Compliance.

  • Dennis 78
    Dennis 7825 ditë më parë

    you should contact N.A.S.A.

  • Drewski InTheCut
    Drewski InTheCut25 ditë më parë

    I didn't know the odd ones out was a scientist

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