Researchers from Switzerland’s EPFL research institute and the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology have developed an revolutionary and human-friendly robotic arm that takes inspiration from the versatile and delicate actions of elephant trunks and octopus tentacles. This prototype robotic arm incorporates a novel “trimmed helicoid” construction and a collection of electrical actuators organized end-to-end with versatile connectors.
The arm’s outer construction consists of polymer parts organized in a springy spiral, permitting it to be externally smooth and pliable, stopping hurt to people it could encounter. Concurrently, it maintains firmness to guard its inside parts, together with actuators and electronics, from impacts.
“Impressed by nature, this robotic arm has an unlimited vary of movement, excessive precision, and is inherently protected for human interplay,” says @EPFL_CREATE‘s Josie Hughes. Printed at present within the new @NaturePortfolio journal npj Robotics & on @EPFL_en homepagehttps://t.co/gXfL4mIFSO
— EPFL College of Engineering (@EPFLEngineering) October 26, 2023
In comparison with conventional robotic arms with mounted joints on the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, this arm is exceptionally versatile, providing a broader vary of movement. Consequently, it’s well-suited for varied duties, reminiscent of fruit-picking, agricultural work, eldercare, and meeting line operations.
EPFL’s Prof. Josie Hughes, the venture chief, highlighted the arm’s revolutionary structure and distributed actuation, which entails inserting a number of actuators all through the construction, offering exact management, intensive movement capabilities, and inherent security for human interplay. The researchers consider that this expertise can tackle the necessity for extra versatile and protected robotic methods in a wide range of purposes.
The robotic arm’s potential has led to its commercialization via a derivative firm known as Helix Robotics. Their analysis, detailing the arm’s improvement and capabilities, was revealed within the journal NPJ Robotics, showcasing the promising way forward for this smooth and adaptable robotic arm in varied industries.
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