Scientists have developed an octopus-inspired GLOVE that allows you to grip various objects underwater

Have you ever lost control of something that you dropped into the pool or worse, into the toilet?

Scientists may have developed a solution to contain underwater objects, but it’s not primarily designed to help you save your victims. iphone from a watery fate.

Researchers in Virginia Tech has developed a glove that will allow divers to hold on tight, such as when rescuing someone or rescuing a sunken ship.

The “Octa Gauntlet” is inspired by the tentacles of an octopus and is covered in robotic suction cups equipped with sensors that can determine how far an object is.

When the sensors detect a nearby surface, they send a signal to the controller, which activates the sticking of the suction cup.

The researchers hope the glove can be used for underwater operations where a delicate touch is required.

Virginia Tech researchers have developed a glove that will allow divers to hold on tight, such as when rescuing someone or salvaging a sunken ship. In the picture, an octa-gauntlet is lifting a Virginia Tech playing card underwater.

The glove's suction cups have been designed to attach to flat, curved, smooth and rough surfaces of objects of various shapes and sizes with a light pressure - just like an octopus does.

The glove’s suction cups have been designed to attach to flat, curved, smooth and rough surfaces of objects of various shapes and sizes with a light pressure – just like an octopus does.

The octopus has eight long arms capable of grasping objects with any surface in the aquatic environment, which was the inspiration for the Octa Gauntlet.

The octopus has eight long arms capable of grasping objects with any surface in the aquatic environment, which was the inspiration for the Octa Gauntlet.

HOW WAS THE OCTA GLOVES MADE?

The Virginia Tech team developed suction cups with pliable rubber feet covered with soft membranes.

The suction cups have been designed to adhere to flat, curved, smooth and rough surfaces on objects of various shapes and sizes with a light pressure.

Attached to the suction cups was an array of microlidar optical proximity sensors that determined how close an object was.

The suction cups and sensors were then connected via a microcontroller, thus mimicking the nervous and muscular systems of an octopus.

Humans are not naturally designed to work underwater, which is why goggles and wetsuits were invented, and our slippery skin is no exception.

Rescue divers, underwater archaeologists, bridge engineers and rescue crews rely on good traction to get the job done.

However, sometimes it is necessary to strengthen the grip to compensate for the slipperiness, which can compromise the operation.

Michael Bartlett, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, said: “There are critical moments when this becomes a problem.

“Nature already has some great solutions, so our team looked to the natural world for ideas.

“The octopus was the obvious choice for inspiration.”

The octopus has eight long arms that are able to cling to objects with any surface in the aquatic environment.

The arms are covered with suction cups shaped like the end of a plunger, which are controlled by the muscular and nervous systems of the marine animal.

Once the wide outer edge of the suction cup is engaged with an object, the octopus can use its muscles to contract or relax the cupped area beyond the edge to add or relieve pressure.

When many suction cups are involved, a strong adhesive bond is created that is difficult to get rid of.

“When we look at an octopus, the adhesive is definitely released, quickly activating and releasing the adhesion on demand,” said Bartlett.

“What is equally interesting is that the octopus controls more than 2,000 suckers on eight arms, processing information from various chemical and mechanical sensors.

“The octopus really combines the ability to adjust grip, perception and control to manipulate underwater objects.”

Once the wide outer edge of its sucker is engaged with an object, the octopus can use its muscles to contract or relax the cup-shaped area beyond the edge to add or relieve pressure.

Once the wide outer edge of its sucker is engaged with an object, the octopus can use its muscles to contract or relax the cup-shaped area beyond the edge to add or relieve pressure.

An illustration of an octopus adhesive system and an octopus-inspired sensory adhesive system.  The latter is integrated with processing and control for the perception of objects.

An illustration of an octopus adhesive system and an octopus-inspired sensory adhesive system. The latter is integrated with processing and control for the perception of objects.

Suction cups and sensors were added to the glove and connected via a microcontroller, thus mimicking the nervous and muscular systems of an octopus.  The suction cups will stick when they sense that an object is close and thus no effort is required from the glove user.

Suction cups and sensors were added to the glove and connected via a microcontroller, thus mimicking the nervous and muscular systems of an octopus. The suction cups will stick when they sense that an object is close and thus no effort is required from the glove user.

The Soft Materials and Constructions Lab team developed their own suction cups with pliable rubber feet covered with soft membranes.

Their method was published today in the journal Scientific achievements.

The suction cups have been designed to adhere to flat, curved, smooth and rough surfaces of objects of all shapes and sizes with a light pressure – just like an octopus does in the wild.

Then Eric Markvika of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln added an array of micro-LIDAR optical proximity sensors that detect how close an object is.

The suction cups and LIDAR sensors were then connected via a microcontroller, thus simulating the nervous and muscular systems of an octopus.

“By combining soft, sensitive adhesive materials with embedded electronics, we can grip objects without squeezing them,” said Bartlett.

“This makes working with wet or underwater objects much easier and more natural. Electronics can quickly activate and remove adhesion.

“Just bring your hand to an object and the glove does all the work of grabbing it.

“All this can be done without the user pressing a single button.”

After the suction cups were attached to the glove, the engineers tested them on fragile and light objects using only one sensor.

After the suction cups were attached to the glove, the engineers tested them on fragile and light objects using only one sensor.

Engineers have found that the glove can quickly pick up and release flat objects, metal toys, cylinders, a double-curved spoon, and an ultra-soft hydrogel ball.

Engineers have found that the glove can quickly pick up and release flat objects, metal toys, cylinders, a double-curved spoon, and an ultra-soft hydrogel ball.

Schematic showing the different states of the adhesion controlling adhesive membrane, from

Schematic showing the different states of the adhesion controlling adhesive membrane, from “off” to “on” state.

After the suction cups were attached to the glove, the engineers tested them on fragile and light objects using only one sensor.

They found they could quickly lift and release flat objects, metal toys, cylinders, a double-curved spoon, and an ultra-soft hydrogel ball.

After reconfiguring the sensor network to use all sensors for object detection, the gloves were also able to pick up larger objects such as plates, boxes, and bowls.

Flat, cylindrical, convex, and spherical objects, made up of both hard and soft materials, were attached and lifted even if users did not grab the object with their hands together.

Postdoctoral researcher Ravi Tutika said: “These capabilities mimic advanced cephalopod manipulation, perception and control and provide a platform for synthetic underwater adhesive skins that can reliably manipulate a variety of underwater objects.

“This is certainly a step in the right direction, but we still have a lot to learn about both the octopus and how to create integrated adhesives before we reach full nature capture capability.”

In the future, the researchers hope the glove will play a role in underwater robotics, user-assisted technology, healthcare, and the production of wet items.

Scientists create ‘sweaty’ living human skin for ROBOTS that can stretch, repel water and even ‘heal’ itself

Scientists have managed to create living “sweaty” skin for humanoid robots.

The material, developed by scientists at the University of Tokyo, not only has a skin-like texture, but can also repel water and “heal” itself with a collagen patch.

It was made by dipping a robotic finger into a solution of collagen and human dermal fibroblasts, the two main components that make up the connective tissue of human skin.

Scientists and engineers have found that the skin has enough strength and elasticity to remain intact when the robot’s finger flexes, flexes, and stretches.

Read more here