Great, Now They're Hiding In Plain Sight: Squishy Octopus Robot Can Change Colors To Blend Into Surroundings

August 17, 2012


Researchers at Harvard University have developed a squishy octopus-like robot that can have different colored dyes pumped through its skin to change colors, then remain motionless until you walk by and HELLO, FACEHUGGER.

The machine was made from silicon-based polymers, and its movement was driven by air pumping through tiny cylinders in its four "legs".

The camouflage-bots are covered in a network of tiny channels. As different dyes are pumped in, the robots can quickly change their appearance.

As well as changing colour, hot or cold fluids can be pumped into robots, enabling them to be thermally camouflaged, and fluorescent liquids allow them to glow in the dark.

Currently, the fluid is pulled in from a reservoir, but in the future it could be incorporated into the robot's body.

Wow, not only color-camouflaged, but thermally camouflaged too? Now even Predators won't be able to hunt them. You know, it's times like this that I wish NASA had sent me to Mars instead of that stupid rover.

Hit the jump for a video of the octobot's color-changing in action.

Thanks to benn, Pogonphile, Sydney, Thel200ster, Essi and K-Crazy!, who agree it should be illegal to make camouflaged robots.

  • Bennetttt

    Looks great for any real world application that requires small clumsy fragile rubbery robots. Tiny dusters? Lent gatherers?

  • Somewhere in DARPA, a general is drooling over this...

  • lorrrd

    Thx again 4 scientifying us ! Dang bots will climb straight in our livers via nano-tech -
    SH... thats what happened 2 Mr.Jobbs ? Poor fooker = sell-out to pentagonia didnt saved lousy Arghses , butt therefore T-Cruise will become Darwinist , i heard !

  • BillGatesIsYourDaddy

    So...they already had a predetermined color of dye in a reservoir ready to pump into it? They knew what the color of the leaf is so they already mixed the color and pumped it into the the squishy thing.

    That's like saying...."hey, that wall is blue. let me paint this paper the same color before sticking it to the wall." I wouldn't actually call that impressive. Home Depot has been matching colors for years.

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