A newly developed approach to 3D printing has produced an octopus-inspired robotic device claimed to offer an unprecedented level of agility. Cornell University engineers crafted the soft artificial muscle using commercially available material and say it points to a future of more advanced robotic devices inspired by nature.
To attain this super rubbery muscle, the team developed a new method for 3D printing soft actuators called a digital mask projection stereolithgraphy system. Using commercially available, photopolymerizable elastomeric material, the researchers used their new technique to produce pairs of actuators they say mimic the function of octopus tentacles. The resulting artificial muscle is able to cover a full 180 degrees of motion, with comparable actuation times to living muscle.
Read more from gizmag, October 15, 2015