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Meet Octobot: Squishy, Adorable and Revolutionary


This squishy eight-armed machine is the world’s first fully autonomous soft-bodied robot. Researchers at Harvard University created the octopus by three-dimensional printing, using silicone gel, which gives it its flexible, rubbery texture. On Wednesday, they unveiled their adorable step toward the robot uprising in the journal Nature. The scientists said in their paper that their creation could be a foundation for the future of soft-bodied robots.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/science/meet-octobot-squishy-adorable-and-revolutionary.html

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I've never met a squishy robot before. 

Octobot is similar to other soft robots who mimic the movements of animals, such as starfish, squids and octopuses. But while many of those were tethered to a power source, the octobot can move free. It’s cordless.

Also, unlike other soft-bodied robots, which typically have batteries, wires or circuit boards, the octobot has no rigid parts in its gummy body. Instead, chemicals course through its veins to give it power.

Liquid hydrogen peroxide is its fuel, and when it reacts with a platinum catalyst in the cephalopod’s core, it creates a gas that inflates the creature’s limbs, like a balloon.

Using the chemical reaction, the octobot can wriggle its arms. It starts by lifting four of its arms while lowering its other four, and then reversing the motion. The octobot will continue cycling through its dance until it runs out of fuel, which usually takes four to eight minutes.

The Octobot also has its own preservation code. While moving, it avoids exploding by releasing its excess gas through vent orifices. In other words, it farts.

HD photo makes it easier to recognize its innards.

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Here's the video:

Do you think there was a benefit to it having eight arms?

Using the chemical reaction, the octobot can wriggle its arms. It starts by lifting four of its arms while lowering its other four, and then reversing the motion.

Possibly, because of the distances between arms to each other and to the fuel source, to better calculate the timing and effectiveness of the fuel. And they're cute.

Yes they are cute. I was just wondering if 8 legs has an advantage over 6 or 10. 

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