German industrial automation company Festo has another creepy creature to add to its menagerie. The Octopus Gripper. The origin of Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man’s foe, is right here people.
Octopus tentacles are a “muscular hydrostat,” like your tongue. This robotic tentacle is designed to flex and bend without a hard “bone,” or metal, structure inside. In place of water-based muscle, compressed air bends the robot tentacle and controls its pliability. Then passive and vacuum-powered suction cups provide grip. Right now, it can hold smooth, cylindrical items, like a rolled-up magazine or a tube, and I’m sure it will grip many other objects after they work on it some more. Check it out in action:
The octopus tentacle is actually attached to flexible arm called the Bionic Motion Robot, a flexible mechanical arm inspired by the trunk of an elephant. So basically what we have here is a half-elephant, half-octopus hybrid. What could possibly go wrong?
It’s pretty darn creepy. It won’t be long until they unleash a robotic elephant with eight octopus trunks, ready to rip us all apart.