You'll never walk alone? A gel actuator that can generate autonomous motility with a wormlike motion without external driving stimuli is produced. The autonomous motion is produced by dissipating the chemical energy of an oscillating reaction occurring inside the gel. Even though the gel is completely composed of synthetic polymer, it shows an autonomous motion as if it were “alive”. By coupling this with a ratchet mechanism, the gel walks by repeatedly bending and stretching itself like a looper (see figure).
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