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Dec 25, 2021

Light-powered soft robots could suck up oil spills

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability

A floating, robotic film designed at UC Riverside could be trained to hoover oil spills at sea or remove contaminants from drinking water.

Powered by light and fueled by water, the film could be deployed indefinitely to clean remote areas where recharging by other means would prove difficult.

“Our motivation was to make soft robots sustainable and able to adapt on their own to changes in the environment. If sunlight is used for power, this machine is sustainable, and won’t require additional energy sources,” said UCR chemist Zhiwei Li. “The film is also re-usable.”

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