The Reading / Listening - Robotic Muscles - Level 5

Scientists from two elite universities have pioneered a new way of creating artificial muscles. The scientists dubbed their discovery a "soft robot". It is a 2.6-gram "muscle" that looks like a small bag with water-filled compartments. It is supported by an origami-inspired structural framework that gives it great strength. This means the muscle can lift something 1,000 times its own weight. This weight-to-strength ratio is the same as a newborn baby lifting a large 4WD car. This ground-breaking discovery could benefit many areas of science, medicine, robotics and engineering.



The scientists are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. They work in the area of soft robotics. Their new soft robot muscle can be made in 10 minutes and costs less than a dollar. Professor Robert Wood hopes to create "softer" robots that are similar to humans. He said: "Humans are normally soft and brittle compared to the big industrial robots that you might find on an assembly line. The next step is to take this system and develop it into a fully functional robot." The robots could be like the human hand - strong enough to grip an object, while being soft and gentle.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Robotic Muscles - Level 4 or  Robotic Muscles - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.newscientist.com/article/2154480-feather-light-artificial-muscles-lift-1000-times-own-weight/
  • https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/27/16705062/soft-robot-muscles-origami-skeleton-mit-harvard
  • https://www.news-medical.net/news/20171127/Origami-inspired-artificial-muscles-can-lift-1000-times-their-weight.aspx


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Scientists from two
  2. pioneered a new way of creating
  3. a small bag with water-
  4. an origami-inspired structural
  5. lift something 1,000 times
  6. This weight-to-
  7. This ground-
  8. medicine, robotics
  1. strength ratio
  2. framework
  3. and engineering
  4. artificial muscles
  5. elite universities
  6. breaking discovery
  7. filled compartments
  8. its own weight

Paragraph 2

  1. They work in the area
  2. "softer" robots that are similar
  3. Humans are normally soft and
  4. the big industrial
  5. on an assembly
  6. a fully
  7. strong enough to
  8. being soft
  1. grip an object
  2. brittle
  3. and gentle
  4. functional robot
  5. of soft robotics
  6. to humans
  7. line
  8. robots

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists (1) ___________________ universities have pioneered a new way of creating artificial muscles. The scientists (2) ___________________ a "soft robot". It is a 2.6-gram "muscle" that looks like a small bag (3) ___________________ compartments. It is supported by an origami-inspired structural framework that gives (4) ___________________. This means the muscle can lift something 1,000 times its own weight. This (5) ___________________ ratio is the same as a newborn baby lifting a large 4WD car. This ground-breaking discovery could (6) ___________________ of science, medicine, robotics and engineering.

The scientists are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. They work in the (7) ___________________ robotics. Their new soft robot muscle can be made in 10 minutes (8) ___________________ a dollar. Professor Robert Wood hopes to create "softer" robots that are similar to humans. He said: "Humans are normally (9) ___________________ compared to the big industrial robots that you might find on (10) ___________________. The next step is to take this system and develop it into (11) ___________________ robot." The robots could be like the human hand - strong enough to (12) ___________________, while being soft and gentle.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Scientistsfromtwoeliteuniversitieshavepioneeredanewwayofcreatin
gartificialmuscles.Thescientistsdubbedtheirdiscoverya"softrobot".I
tisa2.6-gram"muscle"thatlookslikeasmallbagwithwater-filledcomp
artments.Itissupportedbyanorigami-inspiredstructuralframeworkt
hatgivesitgreatstrength.Thismeansthemusclecanliftsomething1,00
0timesitsownweight.Thisweight-to-strengthratioisthesameanewbo
rnbabyliftingalarge4WDcar.Thisground-breakingdiscoverycouldben
efitmanyareasofscience,medicine,roboticsandengineering.Thescie
ntistsarefromtheMassachusettsInstituteofTechnologyandHarvardU
niversity.Theyworkintheareaofsoftrobotics.Theirnewsoftrobotmusc
lecanbemadein10minutesandcostslessthanadollar.ProfessorRobert
Woodhopestocreate"softer"robotsthataresimilartohumans.Hesaid:
"Humansarenormallysoftandbrittlecomparedtothebigindustrialrobo
tsthatyoumightfindonanassemblyline.Thenextstepistotakethissyst
emanddevelopitintoafullyfunctionalrobot."Therobotscouldbelikethe
humanhand-strongenoughtogripanobject,whilebeingsoftandgen
tle.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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