A silicone robot completely free of electronic parts may sound futuristic, but that’s exactly whatresearchers at Harvard University have created. Based on the shape and motion of the octopus, the “octobot” is the world’s first completely soft robot, and its motion is completely autonomous.
At present, the octobot can’t do much – scientists are not yet able to steer it in any particular direction as it moves, and the liquid fuel only lasts between four and eight minutes. However, future models will include sensors that allow the robot to detect nearby objects and steer toward or away from them. It’s a fascinating proof of concept: the robots of the future may look like nothing like what we’ve envisioned.