The next generation of robots will be shape-shifters

Wrapping an elastic ball (orange) in a layer of tiny robots (blue) allows researchers to program shape and behavior. Credit: Jack Binysh

Physicists have discovered a new way to coat soft robots in materials that allow them to move and function in a more purposeful way. The research, led by the UK’s University of Bath, is described today in Science Advances.

Authors of the study believe their breakthrough modeling on ‘active matter’ could mark a turning point in the design of robots. With further development of the concept, it may be possible to determine the shape, movement and behavior of …

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