MORPH - Microfabrication Method for Next-Gen Soft Robots
Centimeter-sized soft robots have been created, but so far it has not been possible to fabricate multifunctional flexible robots that can move and operate at smaller size scales. Researchers from Harvard University have overcome this challenge by developing an integrated fabrication process that enables the design of soft robots on the millimeter scale with micrometer-scale features. 'MORPH' combines soft lithography, laser-micro-machining, and injection-induced self-folding. They demonstrated the process with a small robotic peacock spider with moving body parts and colored eyes and abdomens. The structural and functional complexity of their spider device goes beyond what other existing approaches can achieve.