Researchers from Vrije University in Brussels, Belgium are building robots that can heal themselves. They’re using a new, soft material called elastomer, which is a type of plastic that has thermoreversible bonds. When you apply heat to elastomer, its bonds reform to 98-99% of their original state. Testing elastomer is still in its early stages, but it has huge implications for soft robotics.
Soft robots have many advantages, but unfortunately durability is not one of them. Robots with soft exoskeletons might more easily grip terrain or objects, but they are also easily punctured or torn. For a soft robot made of elastomer, that type of damage can be repaired with the simple application of heat. Watch the video above to learn more.