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Larson et al. / Science 2016

A Robot Made Out Of Stretchy, Electronic 'Octopus Skin'

Scientists made a robot out of a stretchy, glowing electronic skin. It's part of a new field of research on flexible or soft electronic devices.

By Steven Sparkman | March 3, 2016

Scientists built a robot out of stretchy, electronic "octopus skin." So, uh ... why?

Well, octopus skin has a lot of cool properties. It's stretchy and can change color. That makes it the perfect inspiration for flexible electronics. 

Flexible electronics is a big area of modern tech research. 

Article Continues Below

Kevin Dowling, vice president of R&D at MC10, told TED, "Essentially, what we're trying to do is free electronics from what is called 'the wafer.' ... Everything you own that's electronic ... is now formed upon silicon wafers."

Flexible electronics can be used in medical devices or, you know, to make squishy, wriggly robots. 

This video includes clips from Larson et al. / Science 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation and an image from Peellden / CC BY SA 3.0.

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