Andrew Marchese, doctoral candidate in EECS at MIT (right), and Dr. Daniela Rus, professor in EECS and Director of CSAIL, hold a soft robotic fish developed by the Distributed Robotics Laboratory. (M. Scott Brauer)
Each side of the fish’s tail is bored through with a long, tightly undulating channel. Carbon dioxide released from a canister in the fish’s abdomen causes the channel to inflate, bending the tail in the opposite direction. (M. Scott Brauer)
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Soft robots — which don't just have soft exteriors but are also powered by fluid flowing through flexible channels — have become a sufficiently popular research topic that they now have their own journal, Soft Robotics. MIT researchers report the first self-contained autonomous soft robot...