The Harvard gazette shows off the "octobot", a small 3D printed robot that's soft. The device is pneumatically powered by transforming liquid hydrogen peroxide into "a large amount of gas," inflating its limbs as necessary.
“Fuel sources for soft robots have always relied on some type of rigid components,” said Michael Wehner, a postdoctoral fellow in the Wood lab and co-first author of the paper. “The wonderful thing about hydrogen peroxide is that a simple reaction between the chemical and a catalyst — in this case platinum — allows us to replace rigid power sources.”
To control the reaction, the team used a microfluidic logic circuit based on pioneering work by co-author and chemist George Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor and a core faculty member of the Wyss. The circuit, a soft analog of a simple electronic oscillator, controls when hydrogen peroxide decomposes to gas in the octobot.
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