While typical robots carry bulky single parts to provide power, such as a battery or switch, the newly developed lionfish has a unique circulation system that provides both power and propulsion. The "blood" pumped around the system includes an electrolyte solution which acts as both hydraulic fluid and energy storage. The result? A more life-like look that could swim in long durations up to 36 hours ̵
The researchers – a team of researchers from Cornell University and Pennsylvania University – say that no such thing has been done before: it is the first experiment to combine hydraulic power transmission, activation and energy storage into a single multipurpose system. While the development will undoubtedly be used to add increased functionality to soft robots, the researchers say that it can have applications in all machines that require fluid. For example, this "smart blood" can increase the power of electric cars and aircraft. In any case, it certainly takes us one step closer to real-life robots, and all the challenges and opportunities that they will bring.