Say goodbye to the age of metal robots—C-3PO and K9 are a thing of the (future) past! Anette Hosoi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics at MIT, and her former graduate student Nadia Cheng, have created a robotic material closely resembling human skin.
The idea is simple—create a robot with material closely resembling biological systems by making a "squishier" skeleton. The material can bend and mold when it gets hot, and stay rigid when cold.
These squishy robots would be helpful in times of emergencies, such as search and rescue missions by squeezing through rubble to look for survivors. Another helpful application would be to have deformable surgical robots that could move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any organs.
The coolest part is that this material is practically self-healing. All that needs to be done is to heat the damaged area and to cool it afterwards. I bet these things could win some serious limbo competitions.
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