Harvard introduces Soft, Autonomous Robot

Meet Ocotobot – the world’s first soft and autonomous robot. Following two years of hard work, a Harvard-based research team, led by engineering professors Robert Wood and Jennifer Lewis, the Ocotobot was created.

One of the advantages of the Octobot is that it is made of a soft material. If it bumps into you in the hallway, the impact would be less than what you would feel upon bumping into a slow-moving basketball.

The Ocotobot will have a number of applications, particularly in the health field. Once swallowed, the Octobot can perform a non-invasive endoscopy. Or the Octobot could be worn by athletes participating in competitive sports – if the Ocotobot detects an on-coming collision, it could prepare itself to take the brunt of the impact, effectively shielding the player from any injuries.

Following 300 different design schemes, this version of the Octobot was 3-D printed from silicone.

The Ocotobot moves through pneumatic power. An internal circuit triggers chemical reactions, turning liquid hydrogen peroxide fuel into a gas. This then inflates the robot’s limbs and allows the robot to move.

The Octobot is still in prototype-stage, but it is already moving on its own.

To learn more about the Octobot, click for the article through National Geographic.

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