Octopi are known for their ability to squeeze down into tight, rocky crevasses, where they hide or wait to ambush. Researchers working at the BioRobotics Institute in Italy are working to mimic that ability in robots.
Hydrogels Make Soft Squishy Robots
The multiarmed robot, PoseiDrone - named for the sea god Poseidon - is one of the most flexible machines out there. Nearly 90 of the body is comprised of soft materials, giving it the ability to explore small spaces, repair underwater equipment and even wrap its arms around a human body. Maybe not so much for loving, but for rescuing.
Octopi Have A Brain In Every Tentacle
Francesco Giorgio-Serchi and his colleagues are employing 3-D printing technology to advance the field of soft robotics. With the printer, they're able to design, experiment and modify quickly. The goal is to develop a robot not only with a octopus' infinite range of motion and flexibility, but one that also mimics the animal's unique nervous system. Even though these animals have a central brain, the advanced nervous system in each tentacle acts like a "brain" to control movement.