When robot mimic tongues and tentacles...
What a curious device on "extreme engineering" (Discovery channel): A robot with a flexible, trunk-like arm could one day work like an elephant to grasp unwieldy loads, navigate like a snake through the rubble of a disaster zone, or feel around inside the dark crevasses of other planets.:
Unlike conventional robots with rigid joints -- picture a crane-like appendage with a claw-shaped hand -- the OctArm's nimble design allows it to move freely and adapt to its surroundings.
"These robots are invertebrate robots and are good at getting into tight spaces and wriggling around," said Ian Walker, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, whose team at Clemson University in South Carolina has been working on the project for nearly 10 years. (...) A scientist uses a joystick to the control the OctArm, which resembles an elephant trunk: thick at the base and tapered toward the tip. A computer responds to the joystick's motions by changing the air pressure inside individual tubes.
Why do I blog this? a robot with a trunk sounds a bit odd but it might have curious affordances... biomimicry to its best?