The development of a robotic worm engaged experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and the South Korean National Institute in Seoul. Made version of the bot is based on the technical concept, the engineers achieved before the project became interested in DARPA. According to professionals, the shape of a worm is chosen not by chance — it can significantly reduce the level of noise produced by Meshworm.
Initially, engineers planned to use the rail system moving parts, driven by movement pneumatics. But such a development significantly increased the size and noise of the worm. After the funding of the project was engaged DARPA, pneumatic systems, it was decided to change the "artificial muscles", consisting of a thin nickel and titanium wire. This structure can change its shape when heated under the influence of electricity.
Ultimately boat a tube of netting elastic polymeric filaments with a flexible filler. Nickel and titanium wire wrapped with small margins between the coils around the body Meshworm. Winding conditionally divided into segments, which are capable of feeding electricity to shrink or expand an imitation worm traffic. The main body of the bot are also longitudinal "artificial muscles" in charge of the direction of movement.
To control the entire system engineers have developed a method by which voltage is supplied to the various segments of the "body" bot alternately. While researchers have been able to achieve with Meshworm motion speed of 5 mm per second. The main advantage of the presented design researchers call the resistance to external influences — boat fully retains its function after a hammer blow and could potentially survive the explosion.
It should be emphasized that DARPA pays special attention to bots, imitating different animals. Namely, in the interest of management is developing a robotic cheetah (yet can accelerate to 29 miles per hour), the intelligence robot hummingbird, also a robot dog AlphaDog, created to carry equipment fighter in the long crossings.