Innovation

Octopuses Inspire Flexible, Color-Shifting Robots

Creatures have more to offer tech field than just video game bosses.

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A newly developed rubbery, octopuslike robot can change colors to hide or stand out in its environment.

Scientists at Harvard have recently begun developing flexible robots from elastic plastics and silicone rubbers that crawl along using compressed air forced in and out of many tiny channels running through its limbs. These soft robots, inspired by creatures such as starfish, worms and squid, can, in principle, squirm through obstacle courses that might prove challenging or impossible for rigid metallic robots.