Engineers have produced a robot that mimics a worm's movements crawling along surfaces by contracting segments of its body. The Pentagon's Darpa research unit supported the Mesh worm project, telling a potential military use. According to Engineers, soft body, which is essentially compliant, exhibits large strains and enables the robot to navigate small openings and reconstitute shape, and survives from large impact force on falling.
The technique allows the machine to be made of soft materials so it can squeeze through tight spaces and mould its shape to rough land. Preceding attempts to create such a robot have used gears and air-powered or pneumatic pumps. But these added to the bulk of the machines making them less wise for real-world uses. The Mesh worm is just one of several animal-inspired projects being funded by Darpa.