Will graphene enable biomimetic soft robots?

Researchers from China's Xi'an Jiaotong University suggest a new bio-inspired soft robot platform made from graphene composites. The graphene robot is driven by near-infrared (nIR) light as graphene has excellent photothermal conversion efficiency in the nIR light band.

The team suggests building a microfish made from graphene and polymers. The microfish is controlled by nIR light. This is bilayer (pure-PDMS and GNP-PDMS) platform that is easily produced by scraping coating and spin coating processing. The bilayer platform is a soft photoresponsive material that can work in both air and water.

The main application for their work is in drug-delivery, but this platform could also be used for bio-robotic actuator applications. The researchers are now integrating functional devices (such as a camera) to the platform.

Posted: Oct 25,2014 by Ron Mertens