In addition to being reusable and scalable, the grippers are unique in their ability to attach and release without extra motion. The gripper activates by a touch sensor, and automatically grips to objects when it makes contact with them. An astronaut can let go of an object with a release button, and the gripper detaches cleanly without disturbing it. This clean detachment is extremely important under zero gravity conditions, in which the inertia of the objects could cause them to tumble out of control. Researchers designed grippers for flat surfaces and curved cylinders like the one below to get sturdier holds, and release with less uncertainty.