The new actuating material can be powered by light.

A novel actuating material – nickel hydroxide-oxyhydroxide –can be powered by visible (Vis) light, electricity, and other stimuli. The material actuation can be instantaneously triggered by visible light to produce a fast deformation and exert a force equivalent to 3,000 times its own weight.

In addition to its visible light actuation properties, the material can also be actuated by electricity, enabling it to be integrated into the present well-developed robotics technology. By utilizing a light blocker, a mini walking-bot that moves under illumination was made so that it can walk towards the light source. This demonstrates future applications in micro-robotics including rescue robots.