Meet the Octobot - the soft robot octopus

25 August 2016
Presented by Lucka Bibic.

Autonomous soft robot

This image shows the octobot, an entirely soft, autonomous robot. A pneumatic network (pink) is embedded within the octobot's body and hyper-elastic actuator arms (light blue).

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Imagine a robot. I'm guessing, after decades of droids and terminators, that the machine you're picturing is something metal, rigid and human-shaped. But this type of robot can only do so much. What we need are soft-skinned robots and this is precisely what a team of Harvard University researchers have built: an autonomous, 3D printed octopus-shaped soft robot nicknamed "octobot." Lucka Bibic spoke with Michael Wehner about their latest invention.

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