Andrew Marchese has built a soft robotic fish that is both self-contained and autonomous. This soft bodied fish uses soft silicone to allow undulation, and the hardware is stored in the more rigid front portion. It allows the back half to move easily, and can even perform a traditional escape maneuver associated with actual fish.

“We’re excited about soft robots for a variety of reasons,” says Daniela Rus, a professor of computer science and engineering, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and one of the researchers who designed and built the fish. “As robots penetrate the physical world and start interacting with people more and more, it’s much easier to make robots safe if their bodies are so wonderfully soft that there’s no danger if they whack you.”

Check it out in the video below: