The German family-run company Festo usually makes a splash at technology trade shows with its menagerie of biomimetic robots. They range from tapered swimming penguins to ants that reproduce the cooperative behaviour of their living, breathing relations and kangaroos that can jump 80 cm in the air. Festo engineers have most recently taken inspiration from elephants and octopuses. A pneumatic robot arm, inspired by elephant trunks, ends in a tentacle. Other end pieces, a suction cup or a robotic hand, are available. Now all that remains is to find a use for this amphibious chimera.
Biomimetics was featured in Technologist 10 in October 2016