Journal article Open Access

A Perspective on Cephalopods Mimicry and Bioinspired Technologies toward Proprioceptive Autonomous Soft Robots

Giordano, Goffredo; Carlotti, Marco; Mazzolai, Barbara

Octopus skin is an amazing source of inspiration for bioinspired sensors, actuators and control solutions in soft robotics. Soft organic materials, biomac-romolecules and protein ingredients in octopus skin combined with a distrib-uted intelligence, result in adaptive displays that can control emerging optical behavior, and 3D surface textures with rough geometries, with a remarkably high control speed (≈ms). To be able to replicate deformable and compliant materials capable of translating mechanical perturbations in molecular and structural chromogenic outputs, could be a glorious achievement in materials science and in the technological field. Soft robots are suitable platforms for soft multi-responsive materials, which can provide them with improved mechanical proprioception and related smarter behaviors. Indeed, a system provided with a “learning and recognition” functions, and a constitutive “mechanical” and “material intelligence” can result in an improved morphological adaptation in multi-variate environments responding to external and internal stimuli. This review aims to explore challenges and opportunities related to smart and chromogenic responsive materials for adaptive displays, reconfigurable and programmable soft skin, proprioceptive sensing system, and synthetic nervous control units for data processing, toward autonomous soft robots able to com-municate and interact with users in open-world scenarios.

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