A team of engineers at Harvard tasked themselves with making a robot that would be not only safer around people but just generally appear less threatening. We think they’ve succeeded.
It's called the Octobot, and unlike some of the creations from fellow Massachusetts-based robot maker Boston Dynamics, you probably wouldn't be terrified to run into it in a dark alley. It's more akin to a toy you might get your niece for her birthday.
It’s the first autonomous, completely soft robot and is made from a 3-D printed mold inspired by, you guessed it, an octopus. Its main feature is that it is essentially powered by flatulence. The way it is designed, the Octobot moves around by releasing the fuel it's chemically creating at its core.
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So go ahead and laugh, but we think it's pretty cute. And if somehow the Octobot was sent back in time to destroy humanity, humanity might have a pretty good shot at survival, don't you think?