The Octobot, less than three inches wide is the world’s first completely soft, autonomous, and untethered robot. It is free of wires, batteries, and any hard material – like its namesake, the octopus, which has no internal skeleton.
Robert Wood and Jennifer Lewis, the engineering professors of Harvard University tried more than 300 designs before they came up with one that worked. Soft robots provide a safer solution. “If they run into something it’d be like bumping into a basket ball. It won’t hurt you.
The internal circuit triggers chemical reactions, turning into liquid hydrogen peroxide fuel into a gas, which inflates the robot’s limbs and allows them to move. The whole assembly is created from silicone using a 3-D printer.
Soft robots could be made from biocompatible and bio degradable materials and might even be formed into capsules to be swallowed for more effective and less invasive endoscopies.