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Soft Robot Adapts to the Environment and Crawls On Its Own

University of Houston researchers have developed a soft robot - composed of ultra-thin sensing, actuating electronics and temperature-sensitive artificial muscle - that can adapt to the environment and crawl like an inchworm. Potential applications range from surgery and rehabilitation to search and rescue in natural disasters. The robot's body changes shape in response to its surroundings, allowing it to slip through narrow crevices to search for survivors. Traditional soft robots lack the ability to adapt to their environments or move on their own.