Octobot is an adorable scientific breakthrough. It is the first fully functioning soft robot.
Long before Big Hero 6 and Baymax, scientists had been hard at work, trying to design the first soft robot. Why are soft robots important to the future of technology?
As its namesake implies, a soft robot does not have any hard (or, to be more specific, rigid) components. Soft robots are much safer to interact with and they are generally a safer presence around humans and other living organic entities.
The octobot’s adorable design allows it to independently move any of its eight appendages in a natural and organic way. Its Harvard University creators took heavy inspiration from the natural world during octobot’s development.
After a plethora of months of trial and error, after several design and development procedures which even involved processes such as 3D printing, the octobot is finally powered on.
This version of the soft robot is entirely autonomous. It uses hydrogen peroxide for fuel and can independently move any of its eight appendages.
The Future of Octobot and Soft Robotics.
As previously mentioned, octobot is the first truly functioning soft robot. However, now that the technology has been proved to work, the world can expect quite the leap in the following 18 months.
The team behind Octobot will continue to learn the limitations of the miniature octopus. They have already set out on programming and teaching it new skills and abilities and with a little bit of luck we could see videos of the little robot scampering around soon enough.
Soft robots will not be affecting computers and phones anytime soon as microchip technology is currently way too advanced and performant. However, they may soon prove a huge leap in robotics when it comes to the field of medicine.
Entirely soft, non-rigid, programmable artificial organs could mean a self-rebooting heart, kidneys that do not fail, stomachs that safely incinerate extra fats, as well as perfect replicas of limbs lost in accidents.
In the years to come, Octobot could prove to be the first step to finding the solutions to many worldwide problems.
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