3D Printed Fish Catcher

MIT-Hydrogel-Robot-Press

Researchers at MIT have used 3D printing to create a new hydrogel device that can catch and release live fish. The transparent gel robots can perform a number of tasks involving forceful movements such as a grabbing and releasing. Associate professor Zhao details its fish-catching capabilities, “The robot is almost transparent, very hard to see. When you release the fish, it’s quite happy because [the robot] is soft and doesn’t damage the fish. Imagine a hard robotic hand would probably squash the fish.”
The device can be likened to a claw crane, similar to the one used in construction or in arcade machines. In order to function, water is pumped into the robot’s 3D printed arms. These hollow structures inflate enabling the bots “to curl up or stretch out.”

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The clever aquatic robot was developed at MIT by graduate student Hyunwoo Yuk under the supervision of associate professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering Xuanhe Zhao. The research group have developed several forms of these hydrogel robots, “including a finlike structure that flaps back and forth, an articulated appendage that makes kicking motions, and a soft, hand-shaped robot that can squeeze and relax.” Researchers at Cornell have also developed their own hand-shaped soft robot recently, the GentleBot, which can feel external objects.

Associate professor Zhao details its fish-catching capabilities,

[The robot] is almost transparent, very hard to see. When you release the fish, it’s quite happy because [the robot] is soft and doesn’t damage the fish. Imagine a hard robotic hand would probably squash the fish.

Clarke, Corey. “MIT Create Fish-catching Soft Robot Using 3D Printing.” 3D Printing Industry. N.p., 01 Feb. 2017. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

Posted in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog.

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