Researchers from the BioRobotics Institute at Scuola Superiore Sant-Anna in Pisa, Italy, have developed a robotic octopus that represents a huge leap forward for the field of soft robotic. That field, which is dedicated to using soft materials like rubbers and plastics to create robotic machines, is still in its infancy, with new technologies constantly being developed, but the BioRobotics Institutes octo-bot may very well be its crowning achievement to date.
The octopus robot's soft tentacles mimic the muscular function of real octopi, tensing and releasing radially to create movement. Because of the soft material, these tentacles are able to move in infinite directions, giving the octo-bot a far greater range of motion when compared to its hard-bodied kin.
The researchers at the BioRobotics Institute believe that, with more fine-tuned development, the octopus robot could be used to conduct underwater research in small spaces.
Soft-Bodied Robotic Octopi
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