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team of Harvard University researchers with expertise in 3-D printing, mechanical engineering, and microfluidics has demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot.

This small, 3-D-printed robot — nicknamed the “octobot” — could pave the way for a new generation of such machines. Soft robotics could help revolutionize how humans interact with machines.

But researchers have struggled to build entirely compliant robots. Electric power and control systems — such as batteries and circuit boards — are rigid, and until now soft-bodied robots have been either tethered to an off-board system or rigged with hard components.


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The first autonomous, entirely soft robot | Harvard Gazette (external - login to view)