Soft Robots

An octopus-inspired robot is an idea we’ve met before, and it’s no surprise that a new version of the octorobot is being developed. After all, one of the big limitations of robots is that they’re hard. Soft robots with flexible limbs could do more things in more places than the more common hard metal robots could.

Being able to move around things with the liquidity of a cephalopod would open new pathways not only for an individual robot but for the entire concept of automation. Soft robots would also do away with much of the danger involved in collaborative robots that work in the same space with human beings.

The octobot is made of silicon and powered by a chemical reaction. If you ever built a volcano in grade school and simulated the eruption with baking soda, you’ve got an idea of how the octobot is powered. There are no servos, no drives or controls, no power supply, not even a battery to disturb the soft squishiness of the octobot.

Naturally, without any of those things, the octobot can’t actually do much. It can be programmed to move its legs in a fairly pointless fashion, and that’s it. But the researchers plan to move on, now that they’ve got proof of concept, to come up with an invertebrate robot that can move around in a more purposeful way.

The soft robotics community is naturally excited by this demonstration, and it’s exciting for everyone to see something so new. This new approach may inspire an entire new kind of robot.

In the meantime, we can help you keep your Rexroth electric motion control systems humming along. Call us or fill out our simple form.

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