3-D Printed 'Soft' Robotic Spiders That Can Be Manipulated With Magnetic Fields

August 15, 2018

This is a video demonstration of the spiders that were created with a new form of 3-D printable ink infused with magnetic particles that can then be manipulated with magnetic fields to make them change shape and even crawl. What was that? Is there something on the back of my neck?!

the researchers see broad applications for small shape-changing devices -- what some call "soft robots" -- especially in medicine.


"You can imagine this technology being used in minimally invasive surgeries," said Xuanhe Zhao, a professor of engineering at MIT and a member of the team that developed the 3D-printed shape-shifting technology. "A self-steering catheter inside a blood vessel, for example -- now you can use external magnetic fields to accurately steer the catheter."

Other uses could include magnetically controlled implants to control the flow of blood, and devices that could be guided by magnet through the body -- to take pictures, clear a blockage or deliver drugs to a specific location, Zhao said.

The future! But did they have to make them look like spiders? Why not smiley faces? If I want something rooting around inside of me looking for the Sharpies that disappeared Friday night after a few glasses of pinot noir, I want it to look friendly. I also want it to be nonjudgemental.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Ed wielder of the Axe of Grognak!, who clearly knows all about wielding great power and great responsibility. Or just found the axe in a display case at Hubris Comics and picked the lock.

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