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Octopus, elephant, & human arm robot assistants from Festo

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Inspired by octopus tentacles and elephant trunks, this bionic arm can grab and hold a variety of round objects, both taking and passing it back to a human counterpart. It was designed and built by Festo’s Bionic Learning Network team in Germany. From their site:

The gripper consists of a soft silicone structure, which can be pneumatically controlled. If compressed air is applied to it, the tentacle bends inwards and can wrap around the respective item being gripped in a form-fitting and gentle manner.

Just as with its natural model, two rows of suction cups are arranged on the inside of the silicone tentacle. Whilst the small suction cups on the end of the gripper work passively, a vacuum can be applied to the larger suction cups, by means of which the object adheres securely to the gripper. This means that the OctopusGripper can pick up and hold a variety of different shapes.

Technology companies are finding more ways for humans and robots to safely interact with each other so that new technologies can assist or augment, rather than replace, people at work. This BionicCobot is based on the human arm. Watch as it collaborates with a human worker:

Festo is known for their animal-inspired robots. Watch more Festo tech in action: Kangaroos, butterflies and ants, penguins, jellyfish, rays, and more.

Bonus: Madeline the Robot Tamer & Mimus.

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