Most of today’s robots only function well in highly structured environments, like factory assembly lines. But thanks to some clever biomimicry, we might soon be seeing robots with a more flexible approach.
To build their squishy aquatic robots, a team of researchers in Italy drew inspiration from the octopus. The animal’s movements don’t require a lot of brainpower. Rather than relying on top-down instructions from the central nervous system, many of an octopus’s movements happen almost spontaneously–the result of the physical interplay between the animal’s body and its surrounding environment.
By utilizing this strategy, called embodied intelligence, the team created soft robots that could grasp objects, crawl along the seafloor, and even swim–with a lot less computing power than you might imagine. Find out how they work in this video.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.