Hydraulic hydrogel actuators and robots optically and sonically camouflaged in water
Author(s)Yuk, Hyunwoo; Lin, Shaoting; Ma, Chu; Takaffoli, Mahdi; Fang, Xuanlai; Zhao, Xuanhe; ... Show more Show less
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Sea animals such as leptocephali develop tissues and organs composed of active transparent hydrogels to achieve agile motions and natural camouflage in water. Hydrogel-based actuators that can imitate the capabilities of leptocephali will enable new applications in diverse fields. However, existing hydrogel actuators, mostly osmotic-driven, are intrinsically low-speed and/or low-force; and their camouflage capabilities have not been explored. Here we show that hydraulic actuations of hydrogels with designed structures and properties can give soft actuators and robots that are high-speed, high-force, and optically and sonically camouflaged in water. The hydrogel actuators and robots can maintain their robustness and functionality over multiple cycles of actuations, owing to the anti-fatigue property of the hydrogel under moderate stresses. We further demonstrate that the agile and transparent hydrogel actuators and robots perform extraordinary functions including swimming, kicking rubber-balls and even catching a live fish in water.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Nature Publishing Group
Yuk, Hyunwoo; Lin, Shaoting; Ma, Chu; Takaffoli, Mahdi; Fang, Nicolas X. and Zhao, Xuanhe. “Hydraulic Hydrogel Actuators and Robots Optically and Sonically Camouflaged in Water.” Nature Communications 8 (February 2017): 14230 © 2017 The Author(s)
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