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


  • Bruce McKay
    Bruce McKay41 minutt siden

    The best bendy robot is Bender!!! There is no alternative!!!!

  • Hacked
    Hacked2 timer siden


  • Jaques Merde
    Jaques Merde2 timer siden

    i really thought he said last "we will see more sex robots in the future" XD

  • KrxzyFN
    KrxzyFN4 timer siden

    BRO YOUR 40 ?!?!?!?!? YOU LOOK 20

  • Zhoutong Yang
    Zhoutong Yang4 timer siden

    “Safe around people” “W R R R R R R R R R R R R R R”

  • Enterprise Galileo ll
    Enterprise Galileo ll4 timer siden

    Don’t let China enslave the United States of America. Do you think a Chinese mind could think up a robot like this😂😂😂✨ I don’t even think they would want to being enslaved the way they are. The best minds are free minds🧠

  • Peter Quad
    Peter Quad4 timer siden

    I mean this could be perfect safe robot, i mean of course it will need stronger motors and everything but if you could crawl in, and i don't know imagine that building is in fire and you can't really get out this fella could do this.

  • alfpolo29
    alfpolo296 timer siden

    This year the 2021' will be the 20th anniversary on attack on Twin Tower in New York, even today if i think about it i see again the people fall,people that for not burn alive has choice to jump over the window and die...many times i think why not exist a system for can escape in safety on skyscrapers? Why Engineers,Scientists,Researchers dont have found some solution? In London in 2017 14 june has burn a Grenfell Tower,24 floor,72 people die burn alive or the "most lucky" suffocated on fumes...in the World are not rare atrocity like this,today skyscrapers are in all World,but system on safety again are not adequate...

  • Manish Kumar
    Manish Kumar6 timer siden

    Sir how can I be a applied physicist

  • Jackson
    Jackson10 timer siden

    Cool... I still prefer Gundam.

  • D.I
    D.I12 timer siden

    It’s less scary than atlas

  • Jurie Verster
    Jurie Verster13 timer siden

    Mark Rober.

  • CaptainStink
    CaptainStink13 timer siden

    There’s a joke to be made there somewhere...

  • Pidde Bas
    Pidde Bas15 timer siden

    Take a shot everytime he says compliance

  • Sukshith S. M.
    Sukshith S. M.18 timer siden

    Hello sir.. Can you make video on why planets revolve in elliptical orbit (considering general relativity)

  • Luqmaan Rashid
    Luqmaan Rashid18 timer siden

    From what I know, nothing of any use has been produced by soft robotics research for as long as people have been working on them. They're just useless university projects that go nowhere, just like those absolutely useless self-assembling cube robots that can do jack all. After the last Asimo, Boston Dynamics Atlus is the biggest advancemt we've made in the feild of robotics in the last 30 years.

  • Fing Book

    Fing Book

    9 timer siden

    @Huzufu yes, 30 yrs, then 15 years, then 6.5 yrs, etc.

  • Huzufu


    13 timer siden

    Keep in mind these are still very early stages. It's worth exploring weird ideas like this because that's what science is all about. Even if it isnt very useful, at least it was explored fully. Only by trying and testing a ton of ideas can we stumble on revolutionary ones.

  • Solutions & Débrouille
    Solutions & Débrouille19 timer siden

    Bravo et merci

  • bouytt guyt
    bouytt guyt21 time siden

    0:08 Prototype of a freaking 'A.T.A.T.'

  • Maxwell Baca
    Maxwell Baca22 timer siden

    There is absolutely no point in trying. To stop this technology it is inevitable. The end of mankind by robotics is inevitable. Not in our lifetime or our children... But its 100% guaranteed

  • Leviathan's Iris
    Leviathan's Iris22 timer siden

    I love that this video showed up in my recs after a long string of Combat robotics videos xD

  • Melon Collie
    Melon Collie23 timer siden

    I don't think they'll ever be more capable than hard, rigid robots. I think hard robots will just get smarter A.I. and more joints and rotation points, thereby giving them a wider range of applications they can handle and being better at not hurting humans. Maybe some specific situations where they have to directly deal with people, but I think advanced A.I. and maybe a squishy shell applied to a hard robot would more than make up for that.

  • bouytt guyt

    bouytt guyt

    21 time siden

    tecnicly electricty are difine robot we more toclking about air autaton

  • commenty commenter
    commenty commenter23 timer siden

    i like this style of video a lot more. not that design-by-committee network tv video like last time. small robot! soft submarines my g

  • Zizi Gurra
    Zizi GurraDag siden

    The needless money happily play because sunflower inspiringly fax apropos a tan peripheral. wary, adjoining sailor

  • S S A

    S S A

    17 timer siden

    Hello bot man

  • Alex Boi
    Alex BoiDag siden


  • Bill Stickers
    Bill StickersDag siden

    It's just dawned on me you could tell people you're Elon Musk with that mask on

  • S S A

    S S A

    17 timer siden

    @commenty commenter if you think you dont need a genius level intellect to become the richest person on planet earth from scratch then I guess maybe

  • Ethan Shearer

    Ethan Shearer

    17 timer siden

    @commenty commenter That would be someone like Jeff Bezos. Elon is actually chief engineer at SpaceX. Does he delegate and have amazing teams of people who are also brilliant? Of couse, but he's far from just a rich owner.

  • commenty commenter

    commenty commenter

    23 timer siden

    yeah except elon is not a genius, he's just a rich guy who owns the work of a bunch of scientists

  • Captain Hamburgers
    Captain HamburgersDag siden

    How about making a video on air pressure? specifically testing if higher air pressure stops projectiles, what pressure humans could fly at without any power assistance if it makes a difference, and see if higher pressure would reduce terminal velocity so humans could survive any drop. Im interested for video game purposes rather than wanting humans injured lol.

  • Nova Sama
    Nova SamaDag siden

    what if u make the tubes out of sponge or permanent soft material?

  • Marcin Geborski
    Marcin GeborskiDag siden

    Kiełbasa xD

  • alex mejia
    alex mejiaDag siden

    I am satisfied with my care

  • Evan Donaldson
    Evan DonaldsonDag siden

    Seth Rogan as a Robotics Major

  • Drawerick 92
    Drawerick 92Dag siden

    I don´t find any of the Boston Dynamics robots creepy or terrifying, by the contrary I find them really astonishing, epic and gives me hope for a better future. All those comments about creppyness are the actual creepy stuf about human intelligence imo, also cringy and repetitive.

  • XVHK Green
    XVHK GreenDag siden

    what a loser

  • Jay Tee
    Jay TeeDag siden

    Does it blend

  • Aaron M. Lambert, Ph.D.
    Aaron M. Lambert, Ph.D.Dag siden

    *Many robots (including soft robots) are programmed for locomotion and other forms of motor control based upon the wiring principles of central pattern generators* (CPGs)-neural circuits that produce a wide frequency range of oscillatory rhythmic outputs even in the absence of sensory feedback-that have been adapted by evolution over hundreds of millions of years across the animal kingdom for axial, quadrupedal, and bipedal locomotion, as well as many other peculiar forms of locomotion, including rolling locomotion akin to that of the robot showcased in this video here. After several months of preparation, I'll soon be posting vids from my perspective as a Harvard neurobiologist and scientific editor/consultant. Cheers.

  • Xenobia Eve

    Xenobia Eve

    2 minutter siden

    @BaRacK jOe-mAmA You reek of insecurity dear. Check into a proctologist pronto. Otherwise there's going to be a tonka truck full of poop victims. You'll thank me later.

  • BaRacK jOe-mAmA

    BaRacK jOe-mAmA

    22 minutter siden

    @clemente pittsburgian lol

  • clemente pittsburgian

    clemente pittsburgian

    40 minutter siden

    Finally a comment with an original thought and something unique to offer. Very cool stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  • BaRacK jOe-mAmA

    BaRacK jOe-mAmA

    2 timer siden

    @Stochastic Diety 1 thats a rlly weird coincidence because istg i litterally went out on my skateboard today and smoked a joint😅 2 you sent me on a quest to look for the 6k commebt and you can see how many comments ppl have and he has posted tgis exact comment a whoooolllllllleeee lot (which on its own is enough too piss me off becasue your not commenting to be funny or interesting your self promoting thats it) but none of them had 6k highest ive seen was 500 likes he mentions 1 thing he knows bit the rest of the comment is just repeating stuff but more stupid and longer

  • Stochastic Diety

    Stochastic Diety

    3 timer siden

    @BaRacK jOe-mAmA ??? Almost nothing in this comment was in the video. Central pattern generators were not mentioned in the video, which was the main focus of the comment here. Also, this dude did have #1 comment on this very vid earlier with like 6K likes. You do realize that the comment ranks shuffle around, so this guy obviously just posted again and now the comment isn't getting many views. Dude you are just trying to hate for the sake of hating. Go outside and smoke a joint or something.

  • Akshay Pandey
    Akshay PandeyDag siden

    After seeing this I could remember the robot in the interstellar movie. That was a great robot really. Change my entire visualisation of a robot.

  • EnderGamerXP
    EnderGamerXPDag siden

    tecnicly electricty are difine robot we more toclking about air autaton

  • Talal Alqarni
    Talal AlqarniDag siden

    6:09 In inches? Ew. This is a joke.

  • unconscious 7x
    unconscious 7xDag siden

    next title: why female robots that bend are better

  • alexander jimenez
    alexander jimenezDag siden

    The dry pull lilly mix because tempo orly moan out a makeshift customer. chivalrous, humorous jump

  • Naved Hasan
    Naved HasanDag siden

    *Just built different*

  • Paul Gary
    Paul GaryDag siden

    Reminds me of the IROBOT chembot

  • Hugo
    HugoDag siden

    these bots are built different

  • spideral187
    spideral187Dag siden

    That background noise is his beard scratching isn’t it?

  • Radhey Mishra
    Radhey MishraDag siden

    Maaannnnn....... I love this guy

  • PixelDough
    PixelDoughDag siden

    I suppose you could call them... Bender robots

  • B T
    B TDag siden

    Solution looking for a problem

  • Dick Cheese
    Dick CheeseDag siden

    how tf would u pressurize the tubes in space without air

  • mortaché de muerte

    mortaché de muerte

    Dag siden

    Air is inside the tubes, not outside. Compressed air cans and closed loops

  • Doesn't Matter
    Doesn't MatterDag siden

    it useless, and worthless............defeats the purpose of a robot,,,,,,,,you cant mount anything to it.

  • P-ART
    P-ARTDag siden

    Robot: *Bends* Humans: "Its better!"

  • Dismantle HAARP
    Dismantle HAARPDag siden

    Pretty much y'all are gay

  • sehhi vooty
    sehhi vootyDag siden

    I am severely disappointed in the lack of hard robot jokes.

  • Dustin Olsen
    Dustin OlsenDag siden

    How about a robot built out of fluids or even magnetic fields 😯

  • Roger McCarty
    Roger McCartyDag siden

    just take a body shaped balloon bit the same mechanics on the in side and sow it up easy someone do this plz

  • FetalKnievel


    Dag siden

    Let's think this through, Rog. Body shaped balloon is a great framework. Imagine compliant 'muscle' tubing on the underside of the skin. The pneumatic driver could be in the hip area, and processing in the head. Assuming you could maintain air pressure effectively with a strong fabric and expandable lining, that doesn't seem like an impossible task.

  • Roger McCarty

    Roger McCarty

    Dag siden

    nvm that wouldent work idk

  • INFOCUS Media
    INFOCUS MediaDag siden

    Very nice.........SOFT?, just stay away from those sharp corners for now, until they develop blowup motors, aluminum, electricity, bots, nuts, you get my drift!

  • sehhi vooty

    sehhi vooty

    Dag siden

    That compressed air robot looked like stop motion. But all it would take is one of those flimsy rods on that inflatable robots to snap and its useless.

  • Richard Key
    Richard KeyDag siden

    All these so called 'smart guys' wearing face diapers for a bs flu with 99.97 survival. guess none of them read their savior fauchis paper on why the spanish flu was compounded and got so bad (hint masks)

  • EE Ehrenberg
    EE Ehrenberg2 dager siden

    But Betamax is a hard robot. It just has an inflated balloon around it. The core and its movement is all hard structure.

  • Durpswag Jr.
    Durpswag Jr.2 dager siden

    So its soft, and can change shape....great?

  • aboodi the destroyer
    aboodi the destroyer2 dager siden

    "Why robots that bend are better" Bender: 😁

  • Cian Mac phaidin
    Cian Mac phaidin2 dager siden

    This is baymax's great grandad

  • ψ{Flame End Cyborg Guy}ψ
    ψ{Flame End Cyborg Guy}ψ2 dager siden

    Hm... Rigid robot uses: Manufacturing, Building, warfare, secondary phases of colonization. Soft robot uses: Medicine, direct human contact usage, rescue, first phases of colonization.

  • Ben Dover
    Ben Dover2 dager siden

    Thought you meant bend like Bender Rodriguez

  • Raf Takt
    Raf Takt2 dager siden

    bender agrees

  • Erik Laken
    Erik Laken2 dager siden

    Aan deze militaire natte droom die volledig geheim en verboden ondezoek bevat ga je niet gelijk dood . Parkingson, Altzheimer, mad cow zijn door prion veroorzaakte ziektes die pas over 2 jaar zich breed gaan manifesteren. Nu snap je de Angst van overheden.

  • Yundt Rosamond
    Yundt Rosamond2 dager siden

    The envious riverbed admittedly punish because can sicily arrest into a victorious composition. fretful, ragged arch

  • Erik Laken
    Erik Laken2 dager siden

    Dit is er aan de hand. Sars-CoV-2 A Weaponized Prion Disorder Disquised as Respiratory Disease. Hier werken groot machten als China, Rusland en Amerika al jaren in het geheim aan en is helaas ontsnapt uit een biolab in Wohan.

  • Zach Hammond
    Zach Hammond2 dager siden

    This is awkward

    XENO VADER2 dager siden

    Its like the strandbeests

  • tomey tomey
    tomey tomey2 dager siden

    there's no air in space

  • J Villain
    J Villain2 dager siden

    That compressed air robot looked like stop motion. But all it would take is one of those flimsy rods on that inflatable robots to snap and its useless.

  • Onin D.
    Onin D.2 dager siden

    "Why Rockets that Bend are Better"

  • Aayush Dhungana

    Aayush Dhungana

    9 timer siden

    Lol 😂😂

  • Your Slavic Friend
    Your Slavic Friend2 dager siden

    These are nicer than humanoid, because a human like machine that can move, interact and talk is creepy

  • Sameer Tariq
    Sameer Tariq2 dager siden

    8:46 Bay Max from Big-Hero 6 came to mind when he said that.

  • Sameer Tariq

    Sameer Tariq

    2 dager siden

    Nevermind he mentioned it lol.

  • Boisq
    Boisq2 dager siden

    only thing i didnt like about this video is that your voice keeps changing sides

    SAGAR KUMAR BISWAS2 dager siden


  • Cam S

    Cam S

    2 dager siden

    The apple was attached to the tree by its stem while accelerating. The stem broke from this force and stopped accelerated while everyone around it (including Newton) continued to accelerate.

  • Mauricio Tejeda Davila
    Mauricio Tejeda Davila2 dager siden

    no comments or jokes about Futurama's Bender? im disappointed in y'all

    PETARDAwNABIAL2 dager siden

    >its soft, so its safe around humans ...

  • Piotr Biesek
    Piotr Biesek2 dager siden

    kielbasa :D

  • kenh tong hop
    kenh tong hop2 dager siden

    good video

  • Muhammadim Yusoff Jamaluddin
    Muhammadim Yusoff Jamaluddin2 dager siden

    Why I cant even see the sub button? Serious Question.

  • Miguel Antonio Buenaventura
    Miguel Antonio Buenaventura2 dager siden

    i preffer my robot stiff

  • bodoti qwiu
    bodoti qwiu2 dager siden

    We now have the ability to create Baymax irl

  • Secret Ninja

    Secret Ninja

    Dag siden

    Nice stats

  • Skylark Landing
    Skylark Landing2 dager siden

    Baymax is my favorite soft robot

  • Travis Dark
    Travis Dark2 dager siden

    half of boston robot dynamic videos are cgi anyways lmfao!!

  • Lord Habitaxe of Prydonia
    Lord Habitaxe of Prydonia2 dager siden

    Michael Rosen called it, guys ***bendy bendy bendy! Bendyy bendyy***

  • Nit3mare_btw


    2 dager siden

    nice pfp 👍

  • Ramesh Lamichhane
    Ramesh Lamichhane2 dager siden


  • bodoti qwiu

    bodoti qwiu

    2 dager siden

    we're one step closer to having a real life baymax

  • Imroz Towhid
    Imroz Towhid2 dager siden

    TARS? is that you?

  • Bartek S
    Bartek S2 dager siden

    Oh dang! Kiełbasa right there!!!♥️

  • MR.terra69
    MR.terra692 dager siden

    Every one the robots will take over the world..... the robots haha soft robots go bbbbrrrrr

  • hivek mosat
    hivek mosat2 dager siden

    The glamorous pollution commercially consist because opera randomly cause within a open july. crazy, rainy person

  • jwpx11
    jwpx112 dager siden

    Hey Derek, I have a physics question for you, its kind of hard to explain while typing but it concerns controlling gravity. I think I have a 33% chance of this theory being correct, if you are interested I can give you my email later. Thanks, Josh.

  • jwpx11


    2 dager siden

    Yea ikr it has to do with Einstein's theory of relativity and curved spacetime

  • Christian Nieves

    Christian Nieves

    2 dager siden

    lol what? hahahhaha

  • mind.hacker999
    mind.hacker9992 dager siden

    I love this video as a high schooler and a software lead and a captain of an FRC robotics team who loves and adored robots and robot making!

  • Carlo052 G
    Carlo052 G2 dager siden

    Kill JESUS with Cinnamon. For they have no breath and cannot speak and hear. Cyborgs

  • CrazyNoodles
    CrazyNoodles2 dager siden

    Who wants to bet which will come first Robot anime girls or colonization on mars

  • shomproons


    12 timer siden

    "A thing isn't beautiful because it lasts." - Vision

  • Reanetse Moleleki
    Reanetse Moleleki2 dager siden

    Cool, so instead of having your skull crushed by a terminator you get smothered by a sentient jumping castle.

  • Toughen Up, Fluffy
    Toughen Up, Fluffy2 dager siden

    It's just a hop, a skip, and a jump away from needing a leg up.

  • nigel_bd
    nigel_bd2 dager siden

    just put some stans tire sealant inside the bot in case it springs a leak it'll seal itself

  • embRellish e
    embRellish e2 dager siden

    the compressed air robot at 1:03 looks like a sea pig hehe

  • Dark
    Dark3 dager siden

    we're one step closer to having a real life baymax

  • Fusionnite


    5 timer siden

    I think baymax just has alot of air but a metal skeleton

  • shomproons


    12 timer siden

    @NOprojects Dark Mode he just doesnt believe in hopes for the future, or rather hes a hopeless hoper.

  • YouTube Dark Mode

    YouTube Dark Mode

    Dag siden

    @Kevin what?

  • Dave D'souza

    Dave D'souza

    Dag siden

    @Nevaehs Pets same

  • Любослав Николов

    Любослав Николов

    2 dager siden

    @Nevaehs Pets same

  • Vicente Esnaola
    Vicente Esnaola3 dager siden

    nice stuff!

  • Blitz The Fox
    Blitz The Fox3 dager siden

    Bender: Shut up baby I know it!