back to article Boffins pump hot, vivid fluid into squidgy robostarfish

Roboboffins have come up with a way to disguise their soft-bodied, multi-limbed robostarfish, by using colour to camouflage its silicone body. Last year, Harvard researchers came up with a squishy cephalopod robot that could do the limbo, wriggling through a 2cm gap. Now the same scientists have figured out how to hide the …


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  1. hugo tyson


    Why is that man wearing a hat indoors?

    1. Alistair Wall

      Re: Hat

      To hide the results of a previous experiment with squishy robot cephalopods.

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I suspect

      he's the result of a misguided experiment to clone Jamie Hyneman.

      Fools. There is only one Hyneman.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Future Sailoooorrr!!!

    Robot starfish!


  3. Dan Paul

    I have a headache......hand me my hat.

    Yes, the experiment where the squishy robot cehalopod ATE MY BRAINS!

  4. Ho55

    Really news worthy?

    I had to check my calendar, just to confirm April 1 hadn't come around again.

    This is not a 'robot' its a rubber sack and some tubes, more worthy of a high-school science project than a technology news item.

    Does it sense the colour its resting on and decide?, can it self-adapt? - I think not. Is it's not even remotely self-contained, probably having an array of machinery off-screen.

    These guys must have to mix up some colour in advance, knowing what surface their test is on. And the movement technology, is that really going to fly in the real world applications - a sac that jerks its way very slowly in some barely controlled direction..


    1. Esskay

      Re: Really news worthy?

      You say that now, but when the uprising begins, the resistance fighters will point to this camouflaged squishy robot cephalopod and wonder why we did nothing to stop it.

      It's always the shit robots that end up killing everyone.

  5. a_mu

    coloured ballons

    so some one looks at the background,

    and decides what colour to squirt into the baloon !

    now the micro channels done by 3d printing is interesting,

  6. Francis Boyle Silver badge


    and Big Dog could have been be knocked up by anyone with enough Lego.

    It's science. The product is knowledge not shiny toys (though those do tend to come later on).

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Yes

      Actually, this time, I think the toy came first:


  7. The last doughnut

    I want his job.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One does wonder.

    Did they mate a starfish and squid then force the result to breed with the robot, or do you suppose it was squid, robot, then starfish?

  9. Schultz Silver badge

    I like the disguised scientist

    Is he trying to fool the ladies? He is a geek playing with robot toys, lots of electronics and computers involved, I don't think it'll work.

    OTOH, he creates semi-soft wiggling rubber things. Softly vibrating rubber toys could be adapted to certain functions which cannot be mentioned on an IT website. So maybe the disguise is required to protect his identity in the prudish US.

  10. Ian K

    Not sure that...

    ...this camouflage system is particularly tied to squidgy robots.

    There's an element of synergy, as the flexy nature of the ink tubes allow the robots' core squidgyness to be preserved, but you could just as well put a flexy skin full of camouflage tubes over the top/around a lot of olde-type rigid robots.

    Then put the ink tanks/power source/sensors/control systems inside the rigid core, something that seems far closer to doable than making the 100% squidgy setup autonomous.

  11. Osgard Leach

    The hat/glasses thing is actually a pretty good look.

    The robot is shit.

  12. saundby

    The Hat Won't Save Him

    The moment they take the tubes off that robot...straight for the brain.

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