The researchers who built the prototype robotic arm Festo claim that they were inspired by the look and movement of an elephant's trunk. But anyone familiar with Spider-Man's nemesis, Dr Otto Octavius, knows exactly what they really had in mind.
It's only natural that an underpaid, unappreciated scientist would spend his time working on a project that could just go haywire all of a sudden and turn him into a technologically enhanced cyborg supervillain. And it seems as though that's exactly the case with Festo, the Bionic Learning Network's new robot arm that combines the best aspects of assembly line robo-arms and more advanced models, like Dean Kamen's "Luke arm".
Its creators foresee applications in agriculture and medicine, and the demonstration video assures the viewer that "direct contact between machines and their human operators is no longer hazardous, because the bionic handling assistant yields immediately." Yeah, sure, until it doesn't. [Fast Company]