Less is more: A soft, self-actuated pump to simplify mechatronic devices

As electromechanical devices become increasingly small and complex, the high number of required components becomes a limiting factor. Now, scientists at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan, have tapped into the potential of hydrogels driven by oscillating chemical reactions to create the first self-actuated, single-component pump. This device could act as a practical power source for microfluidic systems and highlights the potential of soft bio-inspired machinery in mechatronic devices.