Life-like robots that can make decisions, adapt to their environment and learn, are one step closer to becoming reality.
Researchers at the University of Bristol have demonstrated a new way of embedding computation into soft robotic materials.
This advance could create new robotic possibilities to environmental monitoring, pollution clean-up, drug delivery, prosthetic devices, wearable biosensing and self-healing composites.
Professor of Robotics Jonathan Rossiter said: “We have taken an important step toward entirely soft, autonomous robots and for smart materials to move beyond stimulus-response relationships which could enable the intelligent behaviours seen in living organisms.
“Soft robots could become even more life-like; capable of independently adapting to their environment and can demonstrate the diversity of behaviours seen in the natural world.”
The concept of Soft Matter Computers (SMCs) takes inspiration from biology, and is set out in the Science Robotics journal.
(Bloomberg) — Amid a growing shortfall of qualified nurses in the U.K., students and professors at Imperial College London are developing a robot with dexterous 3D-printed fingers to assist the elderly or physically-challenged. A modified version of a robot nicknamed Baxter, the machine has two mechanical arms, an animated face, as well as sensors to help it analyze patterns and detect if a huma