Friday Focus: Harvard Scientists Unveil the ‘Octobot’


A team of Harvard University researchers from the school of Robotics have developed the first fully autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot, according to the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The robot was developed using 3D printing and was inspired by the Octopus, giving it its shape and its name – the Octobot.

Robert Wood, the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said: “One long-standing vision for the field of soft robotics has been to create robots that are entirely soft, but the struggle has always been in replacing rigid components like batteries and electronic controls with analogous soft systems and then putting it all together.

“This research demonstrates that we can easily manufacture the key components of a simple, entirely soft robot, which lays the foundation for more complex designs.”

The robot has been designed with the possibility of its use as a search and rescue tool, and with the increase in concern over maritime security; it paves the way for further research.

Robotics and automation are key trends in the industry currently, with ports opting for semi or fully automated operations.

PTI really launched its terminal automation and training conference in which a virtual reality training tool was first unveiled.

Read more about the online training portal here

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