Autonomous robots may soon be an ever-present force in our lives, but they are going nowhere fast — or rather, a short distance quickly — without better batteries. You’ve surely seen modern robots scamper through woods or vacuum your floors, but they can only do it for short periods before their energy runs out. Many carry a large battery, which increases a robot’s weight, and in a vicious cycle, requires more power to move.
But a new development in robotic technology that borrows from biology may lead to longer lasting batteries.
The fish “blood” that runs through it serves as both the robot’s power source and controls its movement.
Researchers have engineered a robotic lionfish with synthetic arteries, similar to those found in a human’s circulatory system. The fish “blood” that runs through it serves as both the robot’s power source and controls its movement. The findings, published Wednesday in Nature, may propel the new wave of soft robots, in which inventors seek to improve lifelike automated machines for human connection.