Octobot is a soft-bodied autonomous robot that can fit just about anywhere

Scientists and researchers have created a cool autonomous robot that is modeled after an octopus called the octobot. The reason that the team modeled the robot after an octopus is because the octopus has a soft body that allows the cephalopod to squeeze into the tiniest of spaces to escape predators or catch its prey. Octobot is about the size of the palm of your hand and is made from silicone.

The big difference between Octobot and other soft-bodied robots is that most of the other bots have some hard parts like wires or batteries. Octobot lacks those hard parts and rather than having wires and a battery to power itself, octobot uses hydrogen peroxide and platinum flecks embedded within its body. When the peroxide washes over those flecks of platinum inside the octobot the chemical reaction produces gas that inflates the arms and makes them flex.

The gas created via that flows through 3D-printed pneumatic chambers inside the eight arms of octobot allowing them to flex and propel the bot through water. The creation process for octobot required hundreds of iterations of the bot design until the pneumatics and timing of the gas was perfected and could drive the bot through water.

The fuel inside the Octobot is enough for it to operate for 4-8 minutes and for now, the bot is unable to control its direction. The next step in the design of the bot will be to add sensors allowing octobot to detect objects and navigate towards them. The team notes that the design of the bot could be scaled up or down to increase or decrease fuel capacity depending on the job needed. Soft robots like octobot may one day be used in marine rescue or as military surveillance robots.

SOURCE: Sciencemag