The robot arms you see in most factories have a limited reach and they weigh several tons. The Giacometti Arm, however, can reach much further and extend over 65-feet. This is likely the longest robot arm ever. Plus, it weighs just two-and-a-half pounds, and can fit into the trunk of your car.
Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Suzumori Endo Lab have managed to create an arm that outreaches all other robot arms, and without all of the weight. But how? The secret is that most of its structure is made up of helium-filled balloons. Heavy pneumatic actuators and hoses filled with hydraulic fluid are replaced with lightweight artificial muscles that move its individual segments.
Whereas today’s factory arms could kill humans, this one would probably do much less damage if something went wrong with it. It also has a lot of potential in the rescue field since it could easily be carried in a small space. It’s unclear though how much weight the balloon robot’s arm can lift though.