Bionic microtentacles that are capable of deploying and manipulating small objects as if they were a natural limb have been developed by a team of researchers from the Ames Laboratory, in the United States Department of Energy and the Iowa State University (ISU). His finding has been published in the magazine Scientific Reports.
The microtentacles are microtubes 8 millimeters in length and less than 1 in width. Its accuracy is such that up they are able to delicately grab an ant. To obtain this precision, use a transparent elastomer whose properties change under certain circumstances and which behaves as a liquid or as a soft, rubbery solid material.
According to the Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering Jaeyoun Kim, of the ISU, which has coordinated the project:
In nature the use of this type of tentacles, an excellent tool for grabbing objects, is widespread. However, until now it had not been possible to imitate the process as our device does, on a millimeter and submillimeter scale.