Ⅴ. Reading Comprehension（每題 2 分）
When people imagine robots, they likely think of them as stiff and angular, made of metal and other
rigid substances. But for years now, researchers have been trying to come up with a robot that’s softer.
Scientists wanted robots that could do well on rough terrain, variable conditions, and interact more
safely for humans. But because of the rigid materials robots are generally made of, it was difficult for the
robots to adjust the force used when interacting with humans. Nor could they be manipulated well when
trying to explore or conduct search and rescue missions.
But now, a team from Harvard is paving the way in this field with their introduction of the octobot.
It’s inspired by the octopus, hence its name, and moves using a pneumatic system of inflatable chambers.
Different chemicals work and react together to inflate the actuators that allow the octobot to move. The
movement control board is really a fluid-filled version of a circuit board that uses logic gates. The entire
system is very complex and involves a variety of methods to create, including soft-lithography and a
special type of 3-D printing.
The researchers are now working to add sensors to the robot, which would allow it to detect objects
in its environment and navigate toward or away from them. The basic design can be scaled up or down,
increasing or decreasing fuel capacity depending on the robot’s job. As the field of soft robotics advances,
the scientists envision these robots being used for marine search and rescue, oceanic temperature sensing,
and military surveillance.