3D-Printed Gel Robot Can Catch and Release Live Fish

Published by , February 3, 2017 12:05 pm

(3DPrintingIndustry) Researchers at MIT have used 3D printing to create a new hydrogel device that can catch and release live fish. The transparent gel robots can perform a number of tasks involving forceful movements such as a grabbing and releasing. Associate professor Zhao details its fish-catching capabilities, “The robot is almost transparent, very hard to see. When you release the fish, it’s quite happy because [the robot] is soft and doesn’t damage the fish. Imagine a hard robotic hand would probably squash the fish.”
The device can be likened to a claw crane, similar to the one used in construction or in arcade machines. In order to function, water is pumped into the robot’s 3D printed arms. These hollow structures inflate enabling the bots “to curl up or stretch out.”

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