A German robotics company recently created a machine that uses a mechanical octopus tentacle to complete simple tasks.
OctopusGripper, as it’s appropriately named, is capable of picking up, holding, and putting down small objects. Using octopus-like suckers, and compressed air, the robot moves and functions much like its natural counterpart. The company behind the machine, Festo, writes:
Once wrapped around the object, the tentacle applies a vacuum to the suction cups. The combination of air and two rows of octopus-like suckers keeps the object secure and enables the arm itself to hold a variety of shapes.
The OctopusGripper might not even be Festo’s strangest creation. It’s clear from the company’s YouTube page that it takes a lot of its inspiration from things found in the natural world — like this really badass butterfly robot concept .
I’m intrigued by the work Festo is doing, but I feel like we’ve been down this road before.