Soft robotic tentacles produce 3D movement to pick up the flowers

Whenever anyone talks about a robot, we usually imagine a robust machine performing challenging tasks. But the robot that we are going to discuss here is one of its kinds. The soft robot is being developed at Harvard University by George Whitesides and his team. This delicate robotic tentacle is quite flexible and twists around a flower without harming it. Flexible plastic has been used to craft the tentacle containing three air channels running throughout its limb. Controlled air pumping into these channels bends tentacle and allows it to curl around the flower with a very delicate grip.

Different sections of a tentacle can be curled in different directions by splitting the air channels. This means that the robot can produce a full 3D range of movements, which is an improvement over the previous tentacle whose movement was limited in just one direction. The robot can be used not only for grabbing flowers with a gentle touch but also for treating and analyzing various other things with a video camera, suction cup or syringe added to the end of the tentacle.

The cheap and soft robot is perfect for working with delicate things as well as things at hazardous and confined spaces.

Via: Newscientist

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