Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: James Pikul

Scientists make a lifelike robotic fish using multipurpose 'blood'

The synthetic blood acts as propulsion fluid and an energy store.
577 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

James Pikul

There's no question that robots have come a long way since their cold, clunky, cumbersome inception. Nowadays they're smart, agile and responsive -- but they're still missing the tactile, multipurpose elements that make living creatures flexible and autonomous. Until now. In a bid to make robots more lifelike, scientists have created a soft robotic lionfish and have pumped it full of life-giving "blood."

While typical robots carry bulky single-purpose parts to provide power, such as a battery or gears, the newly-developed lionfish has a unique circulatory system that provides both power and propulsion. The "blood" pumped around the system comprises an electrolyte solution that acts as both hydraulic fluid and energy storage. The result? A more lifelike looking creature that was able to swim for long durations of up to 36 hours -- eight times longer than a robot of similar design but without the synthetic blood.

The researchers -- a team composed of scientists from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania -- say that nothing like this has been done before: it's the first experiment to combine hydraulic force transmission, actuation and energy storage in a single multipurpose system. While the development will undoubtedly be used to add increasing functionality to soft robots, the researchers say it could have applications in all machines requiring fluid. For example, this "smart blood" could boost the power of electric vehicles and airplanes. In any case, it certainly takes us one step closer to truly lifelike robots, and all the challenges and opportunities those will bring.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
577 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda will show off its first EV at the Tokyo Motor Show

View
US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

View
Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

View
Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

View
FCC approves Nexstar’s $6.4 billion acquisition of Tribune Media

FCC approves Nexstar’s $6.4 billion acquisition of Tribune Media

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr