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Artificial Pumping Hearts: What They Mean For Soft Robots (And Humans)

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Soft robotics is the field of developing flexible machines that often stretch the idea of what a robot can be, and independent teams have been making advances using soft robotic principles in creating artificial hearts and heart-like pumps.

Artificial organs have long been challenging to make due to the complexity of replicating biological functions mechanically.

Demand has only risen, both for human use and also for use in new robotic systems. Robots used to help heal have been developed for some time.

Conceptually, the heart is a type of pump and humans have been building pumps for millennia. Practically, however, the heart is different from other mechanical pumps because it works via deformation, contracting and relaxing muscles cyclicly to push blood in bursts, which gives humans a pulse.

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