Perhaps you too are first imagining this thing clutching your face, maybe slithering down your throat, and, oh, I dunno, taking control of your body to do its awful soft robot bidding. You might hurl it against a wall in defense or crush it with your boot or run over it a bunch of times, but it survives because it has no actual hard skeleton, just tiny chambers of air that deflate and inflate in different patterns to do things like walk and slither.
Thank Harvard for this masterpiece, which is presented in the new issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And also thank DARPA because, yes, this thing is funded by the Pentagon. The paper notes that the Harvard soft robot is “inspired by animals (e.g., squid, starfish, worms) that do not have hard internal skeletons.”
Reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.