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New Robot Octopus Needs Fart To Work, How Stinky Is That?

First Posted: Aug 26, 2016 09:39 AM EDT
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This new small and squishy robot octopus is completely battery-free because it needs farts to work. Many new developments in robotics involve octopus robots with even better features from time-to-time. But a team of engineers at Harvard University was able to make a very adorable the size of a palm.

They use an octopus-shaped mold filled with liquid silicone to form the body and printed the legs as an inner structure using 3D printers. And then they incorporated a very small and soft central control system called microfluidic logic circuit that allows the robot to be controlled that shunts hydrogen peroxide fuel, which eventually turns into oxygen gas and water vapor through its inner reaction chambers, as reported by The Verge.

The gas passes through tiny channels throughout the body if the robot octopus and inflates it making it wiggle and adorable. However, the gas needs to be released somewhere when the octopus is finishing squirming. And the solution they created is orifices where its fart can exit to avoid an ugly burst like as said in QZ. What's cuter than a farting adorable octopus robot, right?


A long line of octopus-like robots called Octobot welcomes their new member. One famous member was Cecilia Lacshi's swimming octopus built on stiff actuators and control systems. However, her robot is not squishy at all. This team from Harvard wants the robot to have close interaction with humans through squishability since it will get more attention.

Authors Michael Wehner and Ryan Truby said that Octobots are not so famous to people because it lacks interaction with questionable safety. Robots like the Terminator are definitely a threat to humans. But squishy robots pose less of a risk since humans have always fancied soft-bodied inventions.

Lead author Wehner believes that "the octopus just looks cool." He added, "We thought a pretty cool looking octopus might help get people on our side - convert people to soft robotics." The study was published in the journal Nature.


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