3D Printed Soft Robotic Tentacle May Grab You

Perhaps this will grab you for Halloween - a 3D-printed soft robotic tentacle from Cornell University engineers.

(3D printed soft robot tentacle)

The tentacle achieves its dexterity through a 3-dimensional arrangement of muscles in three mutually perpendicular directions (longitudinal, transverse and helical). The process uses an elastomeric (both elastic and flows) material combined with a low-cost, reliable, and simple method for 3D-printing elastomeric pneumatic actuators.

The invention is a “promising route to sophisticated, biomimetic systems,” according to Rob Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and senior author of a recent study published in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.

The research was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, 3M and the National Science Foundation.

SF readers may be thinking of the "moldies" from Rudy Rucker's 1997 novel Freeware:

Monique's tissues had at least three other basic attractor modes as well: the spread-out "puddle" shape she used for soaking up sun, the seagoing "shark" shape, and the rarely used "rocket" shape...
(Read more about Rucker's moldies)

I enjoy soft robots; read more about the different kinds:

  - Gummi Bots: Biomimetic Soft-Bodied Robots
  - Chembot Squishy SquishBot Robots Desired By DARPA
  - SquishBot Soft Shape-Changing 'Chembots'
  - Plasmobot Amorphous Biological Robot

Via KurzweilAI.

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