We've written about tentacle-like robotic arms here before, but never one quite like this: a robotic tentacle that is soft and pliant enough to wrap around object but that can also stiffen to put a tight grip on things. But there's another key difference between previous robotic tentacles and this one. Others are designed as manipulators for bomb disposal robots or as simple prosthetic grippers. This one is designed to be part of an actual robotic octopus.
The European Commission-funded group building the tentacle is tasked with also building a functioning robo-octopus that ostensibly could be used for a range of applications like underwater search and rescue and exploration. A team of British surgeons are even exploring the idea of a endoscopic tool based on the technology that turns from a pliable tool into a rigid one that could perform surgeries after wending its way through the body.
The tentacle itself is fashioned from a steel cable attached to set of more nylon cables all encased in a silicone skin. It's not totally clear how the tentacle can adjust its tumescence, but we know that using the nylon cables to manipulate the central steel cable, the tentacle can move snakelike around objects and stiffen enough to proved a solid grip.
The Octopus Project (which happens to share a name with a fantastic indie-pop-tronica act--what's up Austin!) has one 17-inch prototype working and it plans to deliver a full robotic octopus to the EC before its 2013 deadline. Just seven more tentacles to go.
More at Discovery News.
keep this away from japan!!!no telling what theyd do with robotic tentacles! have u seen some that anime?
jokes aside this is awesome
that is pretty awesome.
Yet again, someone beat me to an idea of mine. That is, if the servos controlling the nylon aren't actually in the tentacle, but at the base, and I suspect this is how they managed it.
However, I notice it's underwater, as real tentacles are. Makes sense, as tentacles aren't efficient enough to function well in higher-gravity environments. They need some buoyancy to counteract it.
That said, it's too late to keep the concept away from the Japanese. It's almost a given that someone there is already working on a copy of this, or had a hand in its development...
It also wants a repulsorlift drive,eight eyes, and a cutting laser.
RE: Naughty use of robotic tentacles & anime
I got news for you, they already have VERY similar products for sale in japan, europe and north america.
they're located in the 'personal massager' aisle at your local adult novalty store :) ask your wife/mom/girl friend lol :)
Keep it away from the Japanese lol
lol my fiance n i are regulars at the adult novelty shop, our friend works there. we've seen many silicone BOBs but none like this lmao the japanese would want it 50ft long and invading girls in schoolgirl outfits
Hey robot! Pull my finger!
I would like a video of this in action, I wonder how fluid the motion is?
"In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before.".. Paul Dirac
Wow, I don't see where this can be useful in a more practical sense except for a museum attraction. what's next? (fishercapitalmanagementinvestment.com)
"The European Commission-funded group building the tentacle is tasked with also building a functioning robo-octopus that ostensibly could be used for a range of applications like underwater search and rescue and exploration. A team of British surgeons are even exploring the idea of a endoscopic tool based on the technology that turns from a pliable tool into a rigid one that could perform surgeries after wending its way through the body."
They sound like pretty adequate reasons to me