one of the most amazing things about the human body is its capacity to heal itself, restoring and optimizing its health. researches at the vrije universiteit brussel have now endowed robots with this property, as shown in their study ‘self-healing soft pneumatic robots’, published in science robotics. made out almost entirely of flexible, soft material, these machines are able to absorb shocks and protect themselves against mechanical impacts.


watch the self-healing robots in action



these soft robots made by VUB scientists can be used for countless applications like grabbing delicate objects in the food industry or in minimally invasive surgery. because of their soft nature, they are susceptible to damage caused by sharp objects or excessive pressure. but due to their rubbery polymers body, they are able to recover their original shape and then heal completely. this is possible thanks to their thermoreversible characteristics that reacts to heat.

self-healing robots designboom
made from rubbery polymers, these self-healing robots can be used to grab delicate objects or in surgery



‘the polymer has lots of different strands that lock together to form the material. when you add heat, they reorganize to stick back together without leaving any weak spots,’ says bram vanderborght, who led the research to new scientist. ‘at the moment when ordinary robot parts break they have to be replaced, but that’s soon going to change.’

self-healing robots designboom
they are able to recover their original shape and then heal completely

self-healing robots designboom
the healing is possible thanks to their thermoreversible characteristics that reacts to heat

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news