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

  • isaac segura
    isaac segura

    I´m surprised that kiwico does not deliver to Mexico, so, bummer

  • Mateusz matjas13
    Mateusz matjas13

    About the names of the robots "kiełbasa" is sausage in polish so there are 2 robots named after something from Poland (or other slavic country I am not totally sure about kiełbasa)

  • Luis D Marin Borgos
    Luis D Marin Borgos

    Did Bender secretly produce this video?

  • James Wang
    James Wang

    Bender from Futurama:

  • Matthew Mckean
    Matthew Mckean

    Why robots that bend are better..... We all know that Bender is great.

  • r dubb
    r dubb

    I seen this before in a movie called The Wiz

  • Typical Anomaly
    Typical Anomaly

    8:35 I cried a little...

  • Jomer Tomale
    Jomer Tomale

    I think you should change the word "bend" in the title into "soft". I thought for a long time this is the same vid with compliant mechanisms, just "youtuberized"

  • DurzoFPV

    Look at those tattu lipo batteries

  • JediNxf7 Strikes Back
    JediNxf7 Strikes Back

    bender is great, bender is great

  • Joel Smith
    Joel Smith

    If you have pressuized robots being deposited under the water, would the air displacement be enough to walk upside-down on the ice sheet?

  • Ekansh Dadheech (Ekansh Dadheech)
    Ekansh Dadheech (Ekansh Dadheech)

    Will it burst in space ? Because it has air in it?

  • Ron

    Is epic

  • Lysergic Brainwave Thrawthingal Byeblathingal
    Lysergic Brainwave Thrawthingal Byeblathingal

    *Well I remember Bender from Futureama; bending was his fuckin business*

  • Marta Maj
    Marta Maj


  • Hello Kitty Lover Man!
    Hello Kitty Lover Man!

    "...So if you have a leak... then you don't have a robot. Right?" Uh, no, you still _have_ it. Just because something isn't working doesn't mean it's _gone._

  • Hello Kitty Lover Man!
    Hello Kitty Lover Man!

    Hmm, if this robot went to space then he'd have to come up with a whole new pressure to seal it with.

  • Hello Kitty Lover Man!
    Hello Kitty Lover Man!

    Creator: "These robots...." I thought they were just the motorized segments of ONE robot. Interesting that the creator said "these" while you said "it," etc., Derek.

  • Hello Kitty Lover Man!
    Hello Kitty Lover Man!

    "Me... built this...." Oops!

  • Hello Kitty Lover Man!
    Hello Kitty Lover Man!

    "So it's inherently safe to be operating around people...." Looks like it could still hurt you with one of its hard pieces, though.

  • Donatello Cavani
    Donatello Cavani

    This was apes 🦧 and humans 🤷🏽‍♂️ many years ago we should watch out no cap 🧢 were dangerously close to not being in control of what we created ✍️

  • LiveTheLoveYouWant

    I don't understand, the pneumatics robot that doesn't use electricity must be hooked up to something that uses electricity to pump air into it, right? And the circuitry is pneumatic, what is making the circuitry open or closed? It just really seems like it has to be hooked up to something electrical somehow.

  • Satsuki Shirotae
    Satsuki Shirotae

    But are they cooler

  • дмитрий иванов
    дмитрий иванов

    кто бы мне сказал, зачем я смотрю видео про надувных роботов на языке оригинала?

  • the king of jesters
    the king of jesters

    The people in the background : what in the world is that

  • Yannick Carter
    Yannick Carter

    make it waterproof and floatable, you got the new marine rescue pod

    • Ulforce Megamon
      Ulforce Megamon

      I'm pretty sure they are already floatable considering they are mostly air

  • Frost

    Bamax or something

  • UpsideDownPotato

    I Know Why

  • Einar Adame
    Einar Adame

    Tensegrity! :D

  • Ted Williams
    Ted Williams

    im glad people made videos while wearing face diapers so later on when they realize that they were duped into thinking that fabric will stop a virus. meanwhile, while wearing face diapers all day, theyre breathing in bacteria that the bodys trying to expel and getting infections in the lungs then panic thinking they have the coof, go to the hospital, get put on a breathing machine and blow up their lungs and die. its been happening. a case of that happening to a 4yr boy who almost died because of the face diaper was on all day ending up with a bacterial infection in the lungs. this is the end result when people blindly follow because of fear without researching for themselves and just forgetting basic biology...because they were told to by media. anyway, how this robot suppose to go to space where theres no air when it needs air for structure?

  • Samiur Rahman Shah
    Samiur Rahman Shah

    Is it possible to use "Mousse", a sponge or "Moose", foam they use in mountain bike tires, so this robot will never go flat, plus potentially be able to be unloaded to space without it being overinflated due to the high difference in pressure.

  • Jakub Dober
    Jakub Dober

    I'm so glad he named one of the parts Kiełbasa

    • Piotrek Sulkowski
      Piotrek Sulkowski

      Me too

  • Richard Deese
    Richard Deese

    NASA disassemble. Compliance. tavi.

  • Sovvas

    idk why but I feel attached to that robot

  • Jeremiah Wollander
    Jeremiah Wollander

    NGL that centipede bot chasing the ball at 0:20 .... if I saw that in real life chasing me unexpectedly I would freak out

  • Clips

    “It was designed to mimic a turtle, where diagonally opposite legs move together”, bruh that’s literally every mammal excluding Giraffes

    • DeckedOutPistol

      And the ones with less than four legs. And dogs. Cats. Probably more I can't think of rn

    • Clips

      @Aadi Umrani Humans move diagonal as well

    • Etienne Pagex
      Etienne Pagex

      and camels

    • a

      Don't rhinos move one leg at a time?

    • Jacob Caron
      Jacob Caron

      And the Echidnas.

  • Rachael

    Baymax when?

  • Lawrence Chen
    Lawrence Chen

    Are we… soft robots?

  • Amy h
    Amy h

    SLINKY . The original flexible robot

  • Nayan

    They did that in 1 month..!!!!???

  • Maykil107

    they are better

  • Hunter Ferlin
    Hunter Ferlin

    One of the sausage robots is “polish” and the other is “kielbasa”, which is just “sausage” in Polish. Lmao

  • toordog

    All the languages, matlab lol

  • xx Szilagyi
    xx Szilagyi

    what CAD software can I use to make something soft and inflatable?

  • GamerPepperPig99

    i just want a robot that can bend magnetic fields that are luke magnetos powers man

  • jack zhen
    jack zhen

    Basically its that robot from big hero six

  • matt bugg
    matt bugg

    Haha you could do these things in sacred geometry with attachments to hold people inside and basically invent a personal bubble transport. You could do 1000s of different ones and make a fortune

    • matt bugg
      matt bugg

      And an app for your phone to control them. The possibilities are endless

    • matt bugg
      matt bugg

      And change the structural materials coating to be like a tire composition

  • Cyberooski

    wait so the megaman series was right all along

  • Filip Krasilnikoff
    Filip Krasilnikoff

    Guy: "Hey friend, when did you take up sowing? You making pillows or something?" Genius: "I'm obviously making a robot"

    • Andrew Parrott
      Andrew Parrott

      Someone that sows would be a farmer

    • greg arius
      greg arius


  • Roshan


  • Turtle Master
    Turtle Master

    I see that they have learned from the best The turtles

  • Amit सरकार
    Amit सरकार

    HEY! Veritesium can you provide a video on how jumping ring experiment works in a brief cause I have seen many videos about that and everyone say that use lentz, when magnetic field increases it pushes the ring. But this is not the whole case in AC Current

  • LightningHydra LH
    LightningHydra LH

    Zack Hammond is going to become founder of Hammond Robotics from Titanfall

  • Devin McGauley
    Devin McGauley

    This dude loves saying compliance

  • Tron B
    Tron B

    "Why robots that bend are better?" We all know why😏


    we're gonna have Baymax irl.

  • Alex Melinte
    Alex Melinte

    Now imagine this system but using hydraulic power and at a microscopic level and used in connection with thousands of nano-soft-bots. With coupling capabilities, this could benefit surgery and invasive treatment in human body.

  • Ewan McLean
    Ewan McLean

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

  • Casey Keyser
    Casey Keyser

    How long until Baymax is real? :)

  • Rusty

    turn every robot into soft robots to prevent the uprising

  • Jaury Beltrão Engers
    Jaury Beltrão Engers

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

  • Kinc3per

    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 Rash

    So when are you going to make Baymax?

  • First Last
    First Last

    A goey

  • viewer

    is it of any use for anything ?

  • S o
    S o

    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 Kelton

    That’s super cool, and super useless

  • Neon Eviscerator
    Neon Eviscerator

    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.


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

    • Richard Samuelson
      Richard Samuelson

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

  • Voltaic Fire
    Voltaic Fire

    Love it!

  • Kryptonite

    1.5k thumbs down from hard robots

  • A man of no reputation
    A man of no reputation

    They're benders.

  • Marcy

    Polish sausage robot! That's brilliant! :D

    • Piotrek Sulkowski
      Piotrek Sulkowski

      Views from poland: stonks

  • dav snow
    dav snow

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

  • M L
    M L

    An octahedral octopus? An octahedropus?

  • Mr Picky
    Mr Picky

    yes all the metal parts and gears look very soft

  • FeedMeSalt

    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.

    • Ulforce Megamon
      Ulforce Megamon

      @Some Random Guy yeah , you are right , these robots would be easy to mass produce and replace ,also it helps that they require little to no electronics , since electronics parts is the Main reason robots are so damn expensive

    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      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

      Are there any stats on this?

  • ShaunBonJovi

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

  • JamieJamez

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

  • Gunzo Berelo
    Gunzo Berelo

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

  • 진실추적

    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 “D.” Len
    Mc “D.” Len

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

  • Kroidi

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

  • J

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

  • rawrshack tsu (rawrshack956)
    rawrshack tsu (rawrshack956)

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

  • Pola & Tiger
    Pola & Tiger

    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.

  • (ง'̀-'́)ง

    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 plemnik

    polska mentioned

  • Ferrlix

    GUI = gooey?

  • savagex466

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


    0:48 , 2 Rs Mask is famous everywhere ❤️

  • Nediak

    Compliant robots could definitely have use in rescue through tight places

  • User298

    I get kiwico crates (mine is tinker crate)

  • John McGill
    John McGill

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

  • Ryan W
    Ryan W

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

  • hxhshow9

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

  • Felipe Rogel
    Felipe Rogel

    not a single Bender reference...

  • leo sema
    leo sema

    This guy makes adverts more interesting

  • Te Sol'yc Mand'alore
    Te Sol'yc Mand'alore

    Corporations gotta corporate.

  • Yuri Lopes
    Yuri Lopes

    "Soft Robots That Bend Are Better" Interstellar: MONOLITH