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A Climbing Robot

A Climbing Robot

Scientists designed a soft robot that can curl and climb, just like plant tendrils. The soft robot is made of a flexible PET tube, containing a liquid with electrically charged particles (ions). By using a 1.3 Volt battery these particles are attracted and immobilised on the surface of flexible electrodes at the bottom of the tendril.

Their movement causes the movement of the liquid, whence that one of the robot. To go back, it is enough to disconnect the electric wires from the battery and join them. The possibility of exploiting osmosis to activate reversible movements has been demonstrated for the first time.

Possible applications will range from wearable technologies to the development of flexible robotic arms for exploration. Plants have associated their movement to growth, and continuously adapt their morphology to external environment.