Light-driven soft robots

Soft robots made from light-driven plastics can now walk

Mimicking human and animal locomotion and transportation abilities in synthetic soft-bodied devices remains a challenge. We created a soft transporter robot with controlled multidirectional locomotion and transportation abilities driven entirely by blue light. The soft robot spans 2 cm across and is an ensemble of light-responsive liquid crystalline polymers that can harness motion. Using its “legs”, the robot can take strides exceeding 4 mm in any direction. It can transport cargo through a pickup and release mechanism using its “arms”.

Team members Marina Pilz da Cunha, Sebastiaan Ambergen, Michael G. Debije, Erik F. G. A. Homburg, Jaap M. J. den Toonder, Albert P. H. J. Schenning.
Department Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
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