A delicate robot arm for exploring the deep

Many creatures of the deep ocean are delicate – and the traditional appendages on our deep-sea submersibles can harm them. This robot arm inspired by tentacles could be an answer.

Exploring the deep ocean is no easy task.

The submersibles we use to investigate the deep ocean need to be tough to withstand the crushing pressure. But many of the creatures that live amid the inky blackness are surprisingly delicate. The rough robot arms we use to gather samples can often harm them.

Now a team of scientists from the Wyss Institute, Harvard’s John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), University of Rhode Island (URI) and Baruch College have created a new robot arm based on the dextrous tentacles of creatures like the cuttlefish.

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