December 4, 2001
I don't know what your feelings are about the re-boot of the Spiderman film franchise, but I'm pretty sure we should all be thrilled that a German engineering firm has finally created a real-world version of Doctor Octopus's tentacles.
The robot is programmed to “remember” positions for grabbing items after being physically guided by researchers. Developers at Bielefeld University in Germany developed the control software using a process called “Goal Babbling” that mimics the way a baby learns to grasp things by reaching.
The Festo staff describe the robot as the equivalent of an elephant's trunk, and it could add significant amounts of dexterity to industrial robots that up to this point have a limited range of motion.
Source: New Scientist