Soft Robot Could Revolutionise Healthcare and/or Sex Toys

By Gary Cutlack on at

This weird thing here isn't the must-have bath toy of Christmas 2017, it's a robot. A fully self-contained one, with no wires or batteries, that its creators think might be the future of... something.

Only it's a bit rubbish at the moment. Its pneumatic motors that run via chemical reactions aren't strong enough to move its own bodyweight, so all it can do at the moment is sit there and flail a bit. The makers aren't put off though, as their promotional video seamlessly flips from the flapping lump to a suggestion that it might one day be able to help with surgical operations, or be of some use in search and rescue operations, should something very small and light be lost very near to where it's already sitting.

In its current form it'd be hard pressed to get a thermometer up a cow's arse, so we'd say any such medical use might be a good few decades away to say the least. Still, it's mostly 3D printed out of layers of silicon gel, so should be easy to mass produce should it ever acquire any better muscles.[BBC]

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