PATRICK is an underwater autonomous soft robot that artificially replicates the structure and behavior of the starfish (a marine invertebrate closely related to starfish). You can see it in action in the following video.
The development team is part of Carnegie Mellon University.
In the development it was considered that the robot should not be linked to external hardware, as this would allow it to move more freely, thus reproducing the ability of the snake to walk underwater more effectively .
Thanks to feedback control, the robot chooses the best direction to reach its goal and determines the active actuators based on that direction, as seen in a video released by the team .
According to Zach Patterson , one of the study researchers:
We use these shape-shifting coils as a kind of "muscle", causing the robot’s legs to bend in the desired directions. The robot is made primarily of silicone, which makes it highly flexible and waterproof. To control PATRICK’s motion, we developed several motion primitives: specific patterns of shape change coordinated between the limbs that move the robot as a whole.