Using Explosions to Power a Soft Robot (pages 2892–2896)
Dr. Robert F. Shepherd, Dr. Adam A. Stokes, Jacob Freake, Dr. Jabulani Barber, Dr. Phillip W. Snyder, Dr. Aaron D. Mazzeo, Dr. Ludovico Cademartiri, Dr. Stephen A. Morin and Prof. George M. Whitesides
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/anie.201209540
Combustion causes a soft robot to jump: Rapid actuation of a soft robot (composed of silicone elastomers) was achieved using high-temperature chemical reactions. Computer-controlled electrical sparks triggered the combustion of premixed CH4 and O2 gases inside the robot, which pressurized the pneumatic channels of the robot and caused it to jump (see figure). The heat from the explosions dissipated quickly and did not damage the robot even over many jumps.