Robots aren't just chunky, clunky machines of steel. They can have a soft side, too. This video shows a new, tentacle-like bot developed by the Whitesides Research Group at Harvard University that has a more delicate, human touch. It even has the finesse to hold a piece of paper shaped like a horseshoe. It's kind of cute, but as you can see, it's also kind of creepy.
The wiggly arm is made from flexible plastic and its movements are triggered by changes in air pressure. The team members precisely control the three different air flow channels inside the tentacle so it can entwine itself tenderly around the horseshoe. The researchers say that the technology could be applied to work done in small, hard-to-reach spaces, although the air channels mean the tentacle will likely not be slimmer than a few centimeters.
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