Octarms - Robotic Tentacle Bot From Mars!
Octarms, developed in the OCTOR project (sOft robotiC manipulaTORs), are robotic tentacles that can grasp a variety of differently shaped objects. Octarm development is funded by DARPA, under their BIODYNOTICS (Biologically Inspired Multifunctional Dynamic Robots) program.
(Octarm robotic tentacle)
An Octarm is powered by compressed air; pressure sensors on the surface of the tentacle, positional sensors and a camera on the tip provide the functionality. Octarms have explored the interior of pipes and picked up irregularly shaped objects. Manipulation of fragile objects has also been accomplished.
One of the problems with most robot "manipulators" or mechanical claws for grasping is the difficulty in grasping objects with irregular shapes (like many natural objects), or objects that are fragile (like eggs or tomatoes).
Octarms belong to a special class called "continuum robots" because they mimic the abilities of natural organisms with lack the rigid links of traditional robots. The OCTOR project looked at more than just hardware; a mathematical foundation for encircling objects of widely varying sizes and unknown shapes was created in software.
(1906 Illustration of Martian Tripod)
In his classic 1898 story, War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells referred to the "glittering tentacles" that enabled the Martian Tripods to both walk and grasp objects:
Seen nearer, the Thing was incredibly strange, for it was no mere insensate machine driving on its way. Machine it was, with a ringing metallic pace, and long, flexible, glittering tentacles (one of which gripped a young pine tree) swinging and rattling about its strange body.
(Read more about H.G. Wells steel tentacle)
For additional information on how robots can pick up fragile objects, see this article on pressure-sensitive skin for robots. The RISE six-legged robot is another result of DARPA's BIODYNOTICS program.
The original article was found here; see also the OCTOR Octarm website. Thanks to Adi for the tip on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/9/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 11 )
Related News Stories -
FORTIS Exoskeleton Not Quite Ripley's Alien-Fighting Exoskeleton
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...' - Edmond Hamilton, 1932.
Kirobo Mini - Your Dashboard Droid
No protocol droid needed for translation!
3D Printed Soft Robotic Tentacle May Grab You
'Monique's tissues had at least three other basic attractor modes as well...' - Rudy Rucker, 1997.
Sprint Wants Sales Robots
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading...' - Philip K Dick, 1954.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."
Tesla Suit Gives Haptic Hugs
'Then a pressure on the lips...'
Surgically Implantable Artificial Kidney Starts Testing
'George Walt... proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...'
Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...'
Microsoft's Surface Book Is Part Clipboard
'Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications...'
Police Use Predictive Maps ala 'Minority Report' Routinely
'...the data-receptors, and the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'
Tesla Autopilot Road Trip 2995 Miles, 57 Hours
'The beautiful old car cruised ... under the guidance of its automatic controls...'
The 'Marching Mountains' Of Pluto
Calling Captain Future!
Graphene Thermopile May Grant Predator Heat Vision To Humans
'What the hell are you?'
BitDrones Flying Microbots Model Programmable Matter
'... as though a child should build from nursery blocks a fantastic shape which abruptly is filled with throbbing life.'
Starship Turbolift Elevators Coming From ThyssenKrupp AG
Your sideways elevator is getting closer to your floor.
LineFORM MIT's Shape-Changing Interface
'For an interval, the device struggled with itself...'
LM3D Swim First 3D-Printed Production Car
'Almost as good as the original it was printed fromů'
Protopiper Lets You Sketch Full-Size Objects In Real Space
'Plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens...'
AI Trainers: Assisting Artificial Intelligences
'[Ava] wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories