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Jul 13, 2022

Underwater glove puts octopus’ abilities on the hand of humans

Posted by in category: engineering

A team of researchers led by Virginia Tech’s Michael Bartlett have developed an octopus-inspired glove capable of securely gripping objects underwater. Their research was selected for the July 13 cover of Science Advances.

Humans aren’t naturally equipped to thrive in an . We use tanks to breathe, neoprene suits to protect and warm our bodies, and goggles to see clearly. In such an environment, the human hand also is poorly equipped to hold onto things. Anyone who has tried to hold onto a wriggling fish will testify that underwater objects are difficult to grip with our land-dwelling fingers.

“There are critical times when this becomes a liability,” said Bartlett, an assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering. “Nature already has some great solutions, so our team looked to the for ideas. The octopus became an obvious choice for inspiration.”

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