Twisted Soft Robots Navigate Mazes Autonomously

Autonomy is crucial for soft robotics that are constructed of soft materials. It remains challenging to create autonomous soft robots that can intelligently interact with and adapt to changing environments without external controls. Prof. Jin Yin’s lab from North Carolina State University collaborated with Prof. Yang to develop such kind of autonomous soft robots by harnessing twisted liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) ribbons with embodied physical intelligence. The twisted LCE ribbons will roll upon heated, allowing them to navigate complex environments, such as mazes, without input from humans or computer software.