Germany as a long history of delivering triumphs of engineering. However, engineering firm, Festo, has just released a video of a new project which makes the BMW look like a horse-and-cart.
Although the project is officially titled 'Bionic Handling Assistants', it's clear to any schmuck with a vague appreciation of popular culture what they've really made. That's right, Doc Ock's mechanical arms.
The design is reportedly inspired by the motion of an elephant's trunk, but they do look uncannily similar to Doctor Octavius' brutal appendages from Spider-Man 2. At the moment, they can't exactly be used to climb buildings, but they can pass things between themselves. Impressive. Check out the video below:
Geekosystem's had this to say about the creation:
Described by one observer as "strangely alive" and similar to a "giant alien maggot," the trunk/Doc Ock arms were created with 3D-printed segments and connected by pneumatic artifical muscles... it also has artificial intelligence and muscle memory! It's programmed to learn in much the same way a human baby does – through a process of trial and error. Called "goal babbling," the robot trunk can attempt to grab something; remember what went wrong; make tiny adjustments in its own positioning and muscle behaviour; and then try the grab again, until it finally gets it right.
Festo seem to draw much of their mechanical inspiration from the natural world. For example, the firm is also behind the SmartBird, a machine which almost perfectly imitates the flight of a seagull. You can watch a video of that here.
What do you think? Awesome creation, or will these arms become sentient, break free from their bonds, and start reaping bloody revenge on the puny humans? Let us know below.