Robotics researchers have been fascinated by the octopus and its ability to access the tightest places, move swiftly, and stick to all surfaces. Thus, they decided to borrow the technology of the octopus and develop a device. The amazing machine is a robot tentacle arm called OctopusGripper.
Taking inspiration from living creatures when designing robots
The amazing skills of the creatures without skeleton have always been a point of interest for soft robotic researchers. Since they were on the lookout to create more feasible and flexible machinery, their latest invention relies on the appearance of the octopus. The German company Festo was the one that developed OctopusGripper.
OctopusGripper uses the technology of an octopus tentacle. Dr. Elias Knubben explains how the gripping device works. It contains a soft structure which becomes flexible when it fills with air. Similar to a tentacle, the device has suction cups. It can grasp objects by adjusting its shape from their shape, and the cups help by securing the grabbed object.
The bionic arm can be added to any pneumatic robot. It cannot work on its own, but it is controlled by the Festo Motion Terminal. However, it is not useful only for robot adjustment. Even humans can benefit from it.
Soon, we will have robots in every home
Many jobs now imply a closer cooperation between humans and robots. Thus, operating a machine with such skills can benefit many industrial workers, as it makes their job significantly easier. Also, in several years, we might have such machines in our own homes.
Festo did not reveal an official release date of the machine. Thus, we do not know when or if OctopusGripper benefits from a commercial release. However, the researchers will present the technology at Hannover Messe trade fair which will take place in April.
The researchers at Festo are optimistic about their new product. They are proud to present their new technology and see what response they get from potential customers. Thus, they will know how to develop their future products and secure their place on top of the innovation scale in technology.
Robotic technology is evolving fast, as it is trying to keep up with all the novelties which appear on the market. However, OctopusGripper might earn the title of the most useful and innovative machine developed in the past few years.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons