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This robot can heal its own cuts like a human

Credit: Terryn et al., Sci. Robot. (2017)

Scientists in Brussels have engineered soft robots that can use heat to heal their own wounds, barely leaving "scars." The key is rubbery material called elastomers that can change shape when exposed to mild heat.

Why it matters: "The lifespan of the robot is increased," Bram Vanderborght, one of the researchers, told Axios. Soft robots are unique in their adaptability — they're malleable and can navigate unknown environments. Most recently, Stanford researchers developed a vine-like soft robot that can "grow" like a plant and could potentially guide a patient's catheter in the future. These new self-healing properties could make robots resilient in potentially destructive environments.