Bionic soft-bodied robot

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A team at Beihang University, together with a foreign company, has
successfully developed a soft-bodied octopus tentacle robot, which will be used in industrial and medical contexts, among others, Xinhuanet.com reported on March 30.

The bionic soft-bodied tentacle is composed of materials similar to the soft tissues in living organisms. Inspiration for the robot was derived from the physiological structure of mollusks.

Unlike traditional rigid robots, which are often inefficient, insecure and prone to damaging their targets, the bionic soft-bodied robot can move quickly and is able to safely and securely grasp objects, thanks to the sucking function of a built-in disc.

The design, manufacturing process, mechanical analysis and control system of the robot were all developed by postgraduate students at the university in collaboration with Associate Professor Wen Li from the Mechanical Engineering and Automation College.

Research done in the process of creating the robot will not only help to advance scientists’ understanding of materials, mechanics and kinematics found in nature, it will also promote the research and development of new materials and robots, according to Yu Junzhi, a researcher at the Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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