Jordan Raney, University of Pennsylvania
Electronics-Free Soft Robot with Multi-Stimuli Responsive Control
Written by Corrisa Heyes
Jordan Raney presents a nematic soft robot that can respond to environmental conditions autonomously. The robot moves mechanically and turns in response to the presence of light, heat, and/or solvents. This autonomous movement is achieved by incorporating responsive material features to the robot soft body. Furthermore, simple logic gate computation is achieved by including additional features. This is an impressive first step toward fully autonomous robotics with sensing and response capabilities without electronics. Applications for this technology encompass adverse environmental conditions where a traditional electronic robot cannot perform (e.g., electromagnetic interference) or long-term missions (e.g., send to Mars) where power generation is prohibitively expensive.