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Rutgers University engineers have created a new type of locomotion, not found in nature, that is predicted for future use in search and rescue missions, deep space exploration, and manipulating objects during MRI’s. The device can run on rough terrain and also functions underwater. Their study was published online this week in Advanced Materials

Aaron D. Mazzeo, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, who coauthored the study, says: “The introduction of a wheel and axle assembly in soft robotics should enable vast improvement in the manipulation and mobility of devices. We would very much like to continue developing soft motors for future applications, and develop the science to understand the requirements that improve their performance.”

Read more here.