Soft robots have taken a template book page. Using physical properties similar to those found in plants, researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genoa, Italy, have created a soft robot capable of dragging and scaling in a similar way the way they make the vineyards of the plant. His research, published last week in the magazine Communications of nature, It could lead to a new generation of soft robots and usable technology, such as bracelets capable of altering their shape.
Often we do not think about the movement of plants. One of the most frequently represented examples of plant movement can be the closing of the leaves in a carnivorous venus carabiner. But many types of plants move, their movement focuses only on what direction they grow slowly. To direct their growth, plants exploit the water or osmosis transport within their cells.
The soft robot of the IIT, which has a flexible polyethylene body full of a liquid loaded with ions, imitates this process. By means of a low voltage battery, the fluid flow charged electrically within the robot can be directed to one side or the other. The movement of the liquid makes the robot move in a suite, which allows wind and rain to look like a vineyard plant. It is simple enough to disconnect the robot by inverting the polarity of the load.