The peacock spider has inspired an innovative, tiny soft robot made entirely of silicon.
The soft robot was created by the team at Wyss using the MORPH (Microfluidic Origami for Reconfigurable Pneumatic/Hydraulic) process, in which a 12-layer piece of silicon was etched with a laser and bonded to create the 3D structure. UV light was used to pressurize microfluidic channels made of a curable resin, which can be pumped with colored fluids to give the bot some flair or trigger movement in the legs.
The soft spider-bot is currently more of a proof-of-concept of the MORPH system, which could open the door to soft robotic applications in endoscopy and microsurgery.
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