Aug 24, 2016

Soft, Rubbery ‘Octobot’ Can Move Without Batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, robotics/AI

A rubbery little “octobot” is the first robot made completely from soft parts, according to a new study. The tiny, squishy guy also doesn’t need batteries or wires of any kind, and runs on a liquid fuel.

The octopus-like robot is made of silicone rubber, and measures about 2.5 inches (6.5 centimeters) wide and long. The researchers say soft robots can adapt more easily to some environments than rigid machines, and this research could lead to autonomous robots that can sense their surroundings and interact with people.

Conventional robots are typically made from rigid parts, which makes them vulnerable to harm from bumps, scrapes, twists and falls. These hard parts can also hinder them from being able to squirm past obstacles. Increasingly, scientists are building robots made of soft, elastic plastic and rubber, designs inspired by octopuses, starfish and worms. These soft robots are generally more resistant to damage, and can wriggle past many of the obstacles that impair hard robots. [The 6 Strangest Robots Ever Created].

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