Robotic Octopus Arm Could Revolutionize Surgery
Picture source: Screenshot of robotic arm in action via video by Tommaso Ranzani et al
Highlight: “For most robotic arms used in surgery, it is only the tip that is used to manipulate organs. The octo-surgeon, however, has upped its arm efficiency: It can manipulate surgical instruments with the tip and maneuver organs with the body of its arm, coiling around organs like the tentacle of an octopus.”
Insight: Body parts are composed of both hard and soft tissues, using hard tools to go around and conduct precision incisions is proven difficult using conventional tools and even a significant factor for failure; a soft/flexible approach which yet preserves the precision of movements would be a leap forward in internal surgery (the analogy of trying to go around a water balloon with a knife without breaking it is a good visualization of the challenge at hands). Soft bionics which differ from the hold static robotic systems increasingly makes this possible by exploring the potential of new materials and increased computer processing power. Octopus (as most of the Cephalopods) are remarkable species in the animal kingdom: their ability to process and adapt to environmental challenges, strength and flexibility of movements makes them ideal candidates for biomimetics; intensified research should target these species.
Yet another remarkable breakthrough in robotics using nature as inspiration..
More information: here
What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…