Soft Tunable Gelatin Robot with Insect-like Claw for Grasping, Transportation, and Delivery

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5431–5440
Journal / PublicationACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number8
Online published11 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2022


Recently, insect-scale soft robots have received increasing attentions for diverse applications owing to their ability to access hard-to-reach areas. However, most of them are composed of non-degradable materials like PDMS and silicone rubbers, and such chemical inertness may become an obstacle for future clinical applications where tunable material properties or degradation abilities are required. Here, we present a small-scale soft robot from a magnetic gelatin hydrogel, whose mechanical properties can be easily tuned through one-step Hofmeister effected-assisted reaction. Moreover, the robot is designed with insect claw-like legged structure, allowing it to perform grasping and cargo transportation tasks as its non-degradable counterparts. The degradation and controlled delivery ability of the robot are also demonstrated to show the advantages of magnetic hydrogels over non-degradable polymers. Our study provides an alternative for the tunable and degradable millirobot construction with an effective manipulation ability and promotes the applications of millirobot in biomedical sceneries.

Research Area(s)

  • bioinspired, hydrogel-based robots, magnetic actuation, soft robots, tunable