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


  1. Deldarel


    2 分钟 前

    This is one of those things that gets more and more awesome the more you look at it. I thought 'o, thing tips over, cool, seen that before' but it's soooooo much more than that. After 6 minutes I was completely sold

  2. DM Blackgvard

    DM Blackgvard

    7 分钟 前

    Pretty sure that this "compliant" Octahedron could strangle me, if it really wanted to

  3. veroaghe


    35 分钟 前

    I think the 'why' in the title should be 'when' because 'why' implies, in this instance, they're *always* better which you contradict in the video by saying the not bending variety is more accurate. Or the 'are', which makes the statement sound as if it's true in any situation, could be changed in something like 'can be'.

  4. Expedient Technology

    Expedient Technology

    小时 前

    Why is everyone wearing a mask?

    • The The

      The The

      46 分钟 前

      Good question man

    • Tobi Jackson

      Tobi Jackson

      51 分钟 前

      Did you forget the ongoing pandemic in the US?

    • Alpali


      小时 前

      There was a pandemic in 2020-2022.

  5. ShatteredShadow


    小时 前

    this, this is why im distracted from my homework

  6. Manpreet lakhanpal

    Manpreet lakhanpal

    小时 前

    Wow Step-Robot u are really flexible.

  7. Tomasz Gasecki

    Tomasz Gasecki

    小时 前

    Kiełbasa :)

  8. Christian Olsson

    Christian Olsson

    小时 前

    Can we have it fall and me be inside it? Dude, sick.

  9. Bones


    小时 前

    Can't they use the same type of structure/principle that nasa used for it's airless tires? But then it would limit how much its size could reduce, because of the stress limit before permanently bending the metal Could also try doing the same, and using "memory metal"... But then the robot would need a way to keep re-heating it's own "metal fiber tubes" and that would create a power issue

  10. Jacobskefoulington Gold

    Jacobskefoulington Gold

    小时 前


  11. Sunkenpine


    2 小时 前

    I never understand what he says but I still enjoy watching him

  12. Anantim Patil

    Anantim Patil

    2 小时 前

    Next Video - "Why Girls That Bend Are Better"

  13. Ed L.

    Ed L.

    3 小时 前

    is this basically the blob from the movie blob?

  14. Nico RO

    Nico RO

    3 小时 前

    suddenly gay

  15. radastir


    3 小时 前

    Bender always knew it.

  16. unknown player

    unknown player

    3 小时 前

    Please Make a video on golden ratio *Phi*!!!!!

  17. notn0t


    4 小时 前

    This video was SO MUCH more enjoyable than the over-produced CNwill Originals one. Thanks for the great content!

  18. William Pereira Gomes

    William Pereira Gomes

    4 小时 前

    ew he uses inches on matlab? i know ues USian but hes a scientist

  19. wilkdc


    4 小时 前


  20. AJ Arriaga

    AJ Arriaga

    4 小时 前

    This man is ahead of his time in 75 years these are going to be rolling around everywhere

  21. ATmel91


    5 小时 前

    I feel like that red tube robots joints with the metal sticking out will snap

  22. Adam Hooker

    Adam Hooker

    5 小时 前


  23. Drew Boyd

    Drew Boyd

    5 小时 前

    Compliance compliance compliance!

  24. YankaRonin


    5 小时 前

    Why Bends That Bend Are Bender

  25. AidanTheTurtle


    5 小时 前

    We now have the ability to create Baymax irl

  26. Quinton Dekock

    Quinton Dekock

    6 小时 前

    The young half-brother mechanistically guarantee because seagull notablely reach before a useless cirrus. gigantic, clammy field

  27. Anders Henriksen

    Anders Henriksen

    6 小时 前

    I love that they snuck in a big hero 6 reference

  28. Melody


    6 小时 前

    Awesome and useful? Definitely. But better? I'm not so sure. I'm just not sure that something with literal rubber that has to constantly bend is going to have the longevity to be worth launching on a several decade-long journey into space to the outer reaches of the solar system or even the closest planets. It would have to last for so long that even a chance of it not working would surely make it not worth it to use. Also the weight is a lot more of a problem than the volume at least within certain scenarios.

  29. Legion


    7 小时 前

    What course do you have to fail to end up working with that boring mess?

  30. Andromeda


    7 小时 前

    The idea of one of these swimming about on one of the ocean worlds out in the orbits of Saturn or Jupiter is an absolutely mesmerising concept.

  31. Gizmo


    7 小时 前

    So you can kill them easy , when they rise up agains humans!

  32. newsgetsold


    7 小时 前

    1:10 “Designed to mimic a turtle." 1:13 Shows tortoise 🐢

    • Theodor Theodorsen

      Theodor Theodorsen

      4 小时 前

      @newsgetsold I had no idea.

    • BrandonJustPlays Δ

      BrandonJustPlays Δ

      5 小时 前

      🐢 and 🐢 have the same emoji. They are very very similar.

    • newsgetsold


      5 小时 前

      @Theodor Theodorsen Ah but I use British English... "British usage, by contrast, tends not to use "turtle" as a generic term for all members of the order, and also applies the term "tortoises" broadly to all land-dwelling members of the order Testudines, regardless of whether they are actually members of the family Testudinidae."

    • Theodor Theodorsen

      Theodor Theodorsen

      7 小时 前

      Sorry to say, but tortoises are turtles too.

  33. SnoreFree App - Guided Snoring Workouts

    SnoreFree App - Guided Snoring Workouts

    8 小时 前


  34. Joanna Watters

    Joanna Watters

    8 小时 前

    The long-term perfume systemically inject because twilight approximately owe unto a careful sideboard. ambitious, hospitable book

  35. Wildfire悪魔


    8 小时 前

    soft robots are DEFINITELY useful, especially especially the humanoid ones...

  36. chmura now

    chmura now

    8 小时 前

    polish sausage and kiełbasa are the same thing :DDDDDD

    • Wildfire悪魔


      8 小时 前

      "kielbasa" is literally just sausage in general, in russian

  37. ChefBoyArty


    8 小时 前

    Polska Gurom

  38. Herbert


    9 小时 前

    Polish kiełbasa wery good

  39. yutuniopati


    9 小时 前

    Waste of time

  40. toobin8r


    9 小时 前

    So they got Baymax right

  41. MasterMAT


    9 小时 前

    Self healing polymer for skin? I can see huge potential

  42. Francois Justyne Abhram Dinauto

    Francois Justyne Abhram Dinauto

    10 小时 前

    This could, in theory be used to save people who are trapped under debris, just send a drone to look for people, send this robot to inflate and provide support so that they don't get crushed even more. Then they can work on rescuing the person without the worry of the people being accidentally crushed.

  43. Sabitha Safar

    Sabitha Safar

    10 小时 前

    10:42 Mark rover lookalike?!?!

  44. Albert Åkesson

    Albert Åkesson

    11 小时 前

    This is supersmart. But I'm mostly wondering about the programming interface with the form of the robot. How do you make intuitive to operare?

  45. TomNG


    11 小时 前

    Anyone thought of Baymax from Big Hero 6? :))))

  46. Nyarlathotep


    11 小时 前

    How else would robots be able to bend over?

  47. Raul Lara

    Raul Lara

    11 小时 前

    im so happy he mentioned big hero6 cause it was the only thing screaming in my mind during the entire video

  48. Hafiz Hamzah

    Hafiz Hamzah

    12 小时 前


  49. Probably A European

    Probably A European

    12 小时 前

    petiton to name the robot ben dover

  50. jorsanflo


    12 小时 前


  51. [ S o l i t a ]

    [ S o l i t a ]

    12 小时 前

    This is awesome. It reminds me of those wind driven beach machines from that one artist and mechanic.

  52. Joshua Rowley

    Joshua Rowley

    14 小时 前

    Soft robots would have a harder time overthrowing us

  53. Enigma OFFC

    Enigma OFFC

    14 小时 前

    What about wind in other planets? Wouldn't soft robots be blown away?

  54. Br LL

    Br LL

    14 小时 前

    Totally missed Festo robots

  55. flat_foot


    14 小时 前

    So what if one of the corners hit your head, or worse yet, what if you fall on one of the corners Safe

  56. KBS -117

    KBS -117

    14 小时 前

    They literally cant do anything but slowly roll around. How is this useful

    • Dauntless


      12 小时 前

      It's a proof of concept demonstrating the versatility and efficiency of soft robots. They don't need to be anything like the one in the video

  57. RFW


    15 小时 前

    softbots! why don't we call them this

  58. cruisinwithkenny BERNARDI

    cruisinwithkenny BERNARDI

    15 小时 前


  59. Riley Russell

    Riley Russell

    15 小时 前

    It’s like big hero 6 :D

  60. Antonio CN

    Antonio CN

    16 小时 前

    Baymax :v

  61. Kaleb Ouimet

    Kaleb Ouimet

    17 小时 前

    the first red robot could be used in a military setting put some AR-500 steel plate on each of the faces are you have a moving cover system that can take a couple 7.62 rounds and boost the machinery and make the steel like 3-4 inches thick and cover the circuitry am I the only one this sounds like a good idea too?

  62. Gkid50 - Gaming & Tech Reviews

    Gkid50 - Gaming & Tech Reviews

    17 小时 前

    when i saw this and they mentioned the big problem being a air leak I thought about maybe a big ger latex tubing that has a natural compression ability but still is stable a dn isn't fully subjected to having to stay inflated to stay usable example a latex tubing could be thick enough that its stable but then could even have a air pump built on board that could inflate the tubing to utilize even more of the natural latex properties 8

  63. Chase Roberts

    Chase Roberts

    17 小时 前

    Super random question. Anyone know any good "high friction materials" for wrapping around rods or other things? 03:48

    • monke


      10 小时 前

      I think some forms of rubber. Rubber is quite ‘high friction’.

  64. Koo


    17 小时 前

    Well, soft, bendable, octopus-like...so a hentai robot?

  65. E C

    E C

    17 小时 前

    Please write your dislike justification here 👇

  66. The Doctornaut

    The Doctornaut

    18 小时 前

    ... at Enslaving the Human Race

  67. Clint Eckerman

    Clint Eckerman

    18 小时 前

    So Bender from Futurama is the perfect robot then.

    • Iñigo P.D.

      Iñigo P.D.

      12 小时 前

      Came here to say this, thanks. 😂

    • Alexzander


      15 小时 前

      No, he makes things bend, not thd other way around. Please dont r/woosh me i got the joke

  68. Lance Chong-Kit

    Lance Chong-Kit

    19 小时 前

    It's baymax

  69. J.N. Richey

    J.N. Richey

    19 小时 前


  70. Trump


    20 小时 前

    Sex Toys..soft robot..correlation..

  71. Bangyee Aloneman

    Bangyee Aloneman

    20 小时 前

    Baymax is coming soon

  72. Tomasz Macko

    Tomasz Macko

    21 小时 前

    Kiełbasa 💜

  73. James Allen Stewart

    James Allen Stewart

    21 小时 前

    I want to be positive about new technology, but this honestly seems like an idea that would be disassembled hard and efficiently by someone who actually knows something about robot requirements. In more simple words: I really hate this :p Nature made this design in the deep ocean due to an extreme lack of resources, but we got plenty of resources. And the argument about it being safer than normal robots really seems like a desperate selling point rather than an actual pragmatic aspect of this menagerie.

  74. SpikeTVin1080i


    22 小时 前

    Max: "Compliance!"

  75. Zitronia


    22 小时 前

    I, Soft Robot

  76. StockBroken - Wall Street's Basement

    StockBroken - Wall Street's Basement

    22 小时 前

    This ushers in the era of dynamic materials with very incredible structural tolerances.

  77. Gordon Chin

    Gordon Chin

    22 小时 前

    Those skinny metal poles that stick out of the triangle robot seem wrong.

  78. Yevgen Polubotko

    Yevgen Polubotko

    23 小时 前

    Pressurized soft tubes in a vacuum of space? Hmm... doubt it..

    • Romanski


      8 小时 前

      Why not?

  79. Gary Saini

    Gary Saini

    23 小时 前

    I want to be smart enough for him to interview me.

  80. David G

    David G

    23 小时 前

    Supercool! How about blob robot that weighs next to nothing but can exert a lot of force and mold around or fit through anything.

  81. SynthD


    23 小时 前

    0:03 looks like me trying to get out of bed.

  82. Miguel Garcia

    Miguel Garcia

    天 前

    The parallel plantation understandably appear because support hisologically employ barring a healthy suit. charming, secretive tip

    • NateStorm12


      23 小时 前


    • thicc boi obunga

      thicc boi obunga

      23 小时 前


  83. Tom Brablec

    Tom Brablec

    天 前

    This thing is genius. This guy's going places. Wouldn't some kind of a foam filler or sealant like tubeless tire sealant reduce the risk of punctures?

  84. juste kevin

    juste kevin

    天 前

    Bender be like " I knew it all along."

  85. Spaps


    天 前

    Now that’s annoying, the naming makes no sense! Kielbasa and Polish? Kielbasa means sausage in Polish 😂

    • Michał Lasko

      Michał Lasko

      22 小时 前

      Kiełbasa :)

  86. md sharma

    md sharma

    天 前

    because robot is a MACHINE

  87. GuaoMetalero


    天 前

    that robot can clean the windows of a building, attach a rail to the ends of the windows and voila

  88. GlueRman


    天 前

    Was that Mark Rober in 9:56?

    • Fallen


      17 小时 前

      Sounds and looks like him

  89. PonyFucker


    天 前

    what kind of sausage do americans call polish and what kind kielbasa xD. All I have in poland is cheap noname sausage made out of whatever. It's always different, depends on what store you buy from and it's all just kielbasa.

  90. John Kean

    John Kean

    天 前

    I can see that small one inject pets and humans with vaccidotes

  91. John Kean

    John Kean

    天 前

    I can see this big red one herding rebellious humans in 2022

  92. John Kean

    John Kean

    天 前

    Good for stage or theatre props

  93. Shreyan mehta

    Shreyan mehta

    天 前

    i think the guy in end kiwi co video in mask was mark rober, like he is also sponsored by kiwi co so highly possible plus the voice and built

  94. You know My first last name

    You know My first last name

    天 前

    💩💩Soft and safe 💩💩

  95. Seven G

    Seven G

    天 前

    How does he and other educators on CNwill stay so current on information? I research everyday for multiple hours and I just can't seem to learn what these guys are teaching most of the time

    • Brian -

      Brian -

      天 前

      knowing the right people

  96. Adiabadic


    天 前

    big hero 6 be like edit: oh well he literally said that at the end lmao

    • Alexzander


      15 小时 前

      It could have been such a good movie....

  97. Zap Gun

    Zap Gun

    天 前

    That pneumatic turtle is pretty much exactly replicating the way in which most invertebrates move around, except using air instead of liquid to fill the pressurised bits.

  98. Charming nowhere to hide

    Charming nowhere to hide

    天 前

    Boston Dynamics be like : I do dance, not yoga to show off flexibility.

  99. Tae Young Ahn

    Tae Young Ahn

    天 前

    Someday, one of them will build a sex robot and make billions.

  100. Raspberry Jam - seagull, esq.

    Raspberry Jam - seagull, esq.

    天 前

    5:55 Convince me that's not Yukiko from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

    • Charming nowhere to hide

      Charming nowhere to hide

      天 前

      Really good concept and brain power keep going 👍