Some researchers develop soft robots, while others specialize on building tiny ones. This robotic tentacle by a team of engineers from Iowa State University, however, is both soft and tiny. In fact, that's a true-to-size ant encircled by the tentacle in the picture above and not a scaled-up version of the bug. Associate electrical/computer engineering professor Jaeyoun (Jay) Kim wanted to "pioneer new work in the field with both microscale and soft robotics." So, he and his team set out to make microtubes using a silicon-based material called PDMS, measuring 8 millimeters in length and less than a hundredth of an inch in width.