Baby steps in robotics. Work on the 1st soft-body robot offers new tool set. AND it looks sweet.
If you follow my blog you probably know how much I love octopuses (or, if you prefer, octopi)!
Check out this excellent article for more technical info on the Octobot.
The little dude does really no more than flex and unflex his arms. But it's a significant step in robotics and, as the article states, will lead to more fine-tuned applications and diverse strategies in creating robots to meet needs.
And I especially liked the shot of the creation process by which the soft body material in it's mold is being injected with various robotic components. Does anyone remember the "Thing Maker" kits by Mattel? --With their metal molds of insects, snakes and other " creepy crawlies? It was like the boys' version of the "Easy Bake Oven". In a way it was like the 3D printer.
Here's a link to the video of a Thing Maker commercial from 1964.
Today's safety standards wouldn't allow production and sale of the Thing Maker.
But my grandkids will probably be making these little Octobots at home in a new hi-tech version of the Thing Maker which will be more like a 3D printer with robotic infusing capabilities.