Chao Wang, a University of California, Riverside Professor, has added a more interesting aspect to Prof. Christoph's research by adding a self-healing material to robots.
Wang and his research team incorporated stretchable, transparent, and ionic conductors that can power a robot's artificial limb, with a high-ionic-strength salt containing positive and negative charged molecules. This last edition is the property that will enable robots to be able to self-heal and repair themselves in the event of damage.
Prof. Keplinger lauded the new step forward in robotics. "Imagine a new class of robots that are based on soft, elastic materials, being powered by stretchable electronic circuits and thus much more closely resemble the elegant design of biology. This is the type of robot that will help us out in the household or assist us in care for elderly people."
The resulting material can stretch to 50 times its original size, restore electrical properties almost immediately, withstand electro-chemical properties and heal within 24 hours. This provides the robot with many unique features that previous research had not yielded until now. The materials primary purpose will be to power artificial muscles in soft robots which are prone to damage and not easy to repair.