If you try to grab an object underwater, you will find that it is not so easy to do it. However, in the course of evolution, octopuses have learned to quickly and reliably capture a wide variety of objects. This is achieved by using suction cups and a variety of mechanical and chemical sensors. Virginia Tech scientists have taken note of this ability of cephalopods and developed a gripping glove that closely mimics the nerves and muscles of an octopus.
The glove was named Octa-glove. Its design is based on rubber feet equipped with soft membranes. Thanks to them, the glove can “stick” to objects of various shapes in the aquatic environment. And through the use of micro-LIDAR optical sensors, the system is able to detect objects that are in close proximity. The behavior of the suction cups is controlled by a microcontroller.
When the glove is put on the hand, it is enough to bring it to a small object to grab it without squeezing. This makes it easier to perform various operations underwater. If you need to capture larger objects, you will need to activate the operation of all sensors. The glove’s controlled adhesion makes it an indispensable tool in several important scenarios. It will certainly be useful to divers, rescuers, and will make the work of archaeologists and researchers of the underwater world more efficient. With the Octa-glove, even heavy, large objects can be gripped without much effort.