Vine-like robot that ‘grows’ towards heat could put out fires

A vine-like segmented robot that is attracted to heat could be used to autonomously extinguish fires without the need for costly and complex electronics


31 January 2023

A pneumatic everting robot grows towards a heat source

An infrared camera reveals how this robot can grow towards a heat source on its right

Charles Xiao et al.

A vine-like robot can steer itself towards a source of heat without sensors, batteries or motors. The technology could be used to create smart hosepipes that approach a burning building or forest fire and steer themselves towards the flames.

Charles Xiao at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his colleagues have created a device about 2 metres long with dozens of segments. The team’s vine robot mimics the way that vines and roots …

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