One of the subtle effects (I think) appears that the gripping motion closes with a variable force. It appeared as if the closing motion commenced with a quick snap shut, but slowed to a less forceful, yet sufficiently firm grip on the target, so as to ensure handling without crushing. Might have been neat to see them pick up an egg, for example.
I was also surprised to find out how many different innovative projects Festo has done in biomimicry, many of them robotic, such as the AquaPenguin and Aqua Jelly in our Nautical Robot slideshow:
In this case, the idea of the grippers is better energy-efficiency, with high gripping force-to-weight ratios, so there's less wasted motion.
Festo seems to be doing a lot of great things with biomickry and design. This is a pretty interesting interpretation of bringing animal-like movements to a gripping type of robot. Is the idea that the robot machinery gains dexterity because of this motion?
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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