3D Printed Robotic Suckers Make Robot Octopus A Terrifying PossibilityWhen we think of robots, we tend to anthropomorphize a bit. Years of TV and movies have gotten us used to thinking of the machines as mechanical versions of us. The fact is, though, the next generation of robots will come in a staggering variety of shapes and sizes, many of them -- or at least come of their traits -- inspired by the animal kingdom, like DARPA's AlphaDog or this inflatable "soft robot" from Harvard. Researchers are hard at work trying to repurpose animal parts that could be useful to new robots, and the latest entries in that field are these 3D printed robotic suckers, which mimic the suctioning ability of a squid or octopus, and could help tomorrow's robots grip objects, move around, and of course one day restrain human prisoners. Until that day, though, they will be pretty cool!Read on...
The Prosthetic Tentacle
When a designer named Kaylene Kau was challenged by a professor to design a prosthetic limb that pushed "the boundaries of current upper-limb prosthetic design," she devised a tentacle-like prosthetic attachment that's at once functional and slightly frightening.
Through extensive research I found that the prosthetic functioned as an assistant to the dominant functioning hand. The prosthetic needed to be both flexible and adjustable in order to accommodate a variety of different grips.As diagrammed below, the tentacle is operated using a motor attached to a pair of cables; a set of controls allow the user to control the degree of curl "to hold a variety of different shaped objects."Read on...
Hard Core Video of the Day: Octopus Kills Shark
No, we're not talking about a Syfy Channel exclusive movie. National Geographic has posted footage taken from a zoo aquarium tank where keepers decided to introduce some Spiny Dogfish Sharks. According to the narrator, they were hoping that their sharks, despite their omni-carnivorous diets, wouldn't decided to make a meal of their Giant Pacific Octopus.
And then shark corpses kept showing up at the bottom of the tank. Understandably eager to know what was killing their animals, the keepers set up some cameras, and the footage they captured is below.Read on...