Remote-controlled robot arms allow submersible operators to perform tasks underwater. But can you imagine a rigid metal limb interacting with something as fragile as jellyfish or corals? To be able to capture or interact with marine life, scientists need something softer that can touch delicate living things without squishing them to death. That’s why a team of scientists from Harvard’s Wyss Institute has developed a soft robotic arm that can “move with unprecedented dexterity to grasp and sample delicate aquatic life.”
Scientists from the institute have been developing soft robots for marine research for quite some time. This particular creation’s a bit cooler than the others, though: it’s controlled by a glove equipped with wireless sensors, so scientists can channel Tony Stark and wave their hand around to control the machine. They can bend and rotate the arm simply by moving their wrist, and they can open and close the robot’s grippers by curling their index finger. The method gives them more control over the machine than, say, a remote controller or a joystick can.
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