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It’s not quite Geico’s Gecko, but the new bendy robot created by Harvard University researchers has some impressive capabilities for blending in.
Detailed in the journal Science, the camouflage robot was actually inspired by the flexibility and color adaptation skills of cephalopods like octopuses and cuttlefish. The small robot, walking and moving with the help of air pumped into its four appendages, is covered in a network of tiny channels, which can have dye, hot or cold fluids, and even glow in the dark liquid pumped into it.
For now, the power and dye is pumped into the robot, but both elements could one day be self-contained. Authors of the study say the robots could be used to complete tasks while being undetected—or be part of search and rescue efforts where being seen would be important.
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