Marine Biologists Create Ultra Gentle Robotic Fingers
Marine biologists have tested a new robotic technology “soft robotic linguine fingers” that proves to be much gentler capture mechanism for all types of creatures.
In the article “Ultra-gentle soft robot fingers induce minimal transcriptomic response in a fragile marine animal during handling” published in the journal Current Biology on February 24, scientists have demonstrated that new tool significantly reduces stress-related genes in captured jelly fish, shared the lead researcher Michael Tessler from the American Museum of Natural History:
“Using genomics, we confirm that newly developed soft robots are a kinder way to handle some of the slipperiest organisms — jellyfish. With new technologies we can often make massive advances on techniques, like deep-sea animal handling”
Professor of Biology David Gruber also shared that new soft robotic “fingers” shaped like noodles can be useful in other aspects of marine research:
“It really proves our hypothesis that soft robots in the deep sea can be effective tools for all manner of delicate interactions”
For example, soft robotic allows procedures that previously were perceived as impossible, like DNA samples collection or medical checkups for the deep-sea organisms.
Such technologies “can unlock exciting and clever solutions to challenges that would not be tractable for conventional robots”, added co-author Nina Sinatra from Harvard University, while her colleague Rob Wood detailed technology applications in other fields:
“They could be used to harvest fruits from trees without bruising them, rehabilitate the muscles of stroke patients, and many other things that rigid-bodied robots are just too clunky and overpowered to accomplish today”
As Future Time previously reported, marine researchers have also demonstrated first results with cyborg jellyfish that helps to understand the climate change better.