It seems recently that life is imitating art more and more. With Asimo strutting his funky stuff and showing us robots can walk, 3D printers, spacesuits that look like famous movie characters and sponges that fill in wounds for quicker recovery, the worlds of art and real life are colliding.
Now we once again come one step closer to this union with German firm Festo’s latest creation. This creation is (as the quote below confirms) very similar to a certain Marvel super villain’s weapon of choice.
Described by one observer as “strangely alive” and similar to a “giant alien maggot,” the trunk/Doc Ock arms were created with 3D-printed segments and connected by pneumatic artificial muscles. The idea behind this definitely-not-horrifying project is to grant robots the same flexibility as an elephant’s trunk – helpful for assisting with typically human jobs like apple-picking.
It would seem that Otto Octavius’ arms are now a reality!
These arms are to be used in the services of good rather than evil though. The independent mechanical arms are actually called “Dynamic Handling Assistants” and are based on the movements that an elephant’s trunk would make in the wild. Watching these arms in action is incredible and luckily for us there is a clip that shows them all in action.
This quote from the sites homepage makes for interesting reading and also gives an insight into why the arms have been designed the way they have.
Whether it’s energy efficiency, lightweight construction or function integration – over time, nature has developed a wealth of optimisation strategies for adapting to its environment, and these strategies can be applied to the world of engineering.
That is why Festo develops, tests and improves mechatronic products, processes and technologies using bionics in the Bionic Learning Network. The Biomechatronic Footprint documents this evolution – from a natural model to a basic technical principle, followed by bionic adaptation and ending with industrial application.
With all these new products coming our way it is going to make the next few years of scientific and technological advancement a very interesting area to keep an eye on.
Now if only they can get that pesky hover board made everyone will be happy!
Images: Sony Pictures, Festo