Robot Uses Bugs To Grip

Researchers from multiple Japanese universities have developed a method to use living organisms as gripping mechanisms in robots without harming the animals. They created a 3D-printed harness to lasso around a pill bug or attach to a mollusk, allowing the organisms to effectively grasp and manipulate objects. The researchers emphasized the preservation of the creatures’ life and integrity, acknowledging the importance of bioethics regulations when working with animals.

While some experts see potential benefits in employing living organisms in robotic systems for specific tasks, others question the efficacy, purpose, and ethical implications of such practices. The researchers argue that establishing cooperative interactions between living organisms and machines could advance biology and robotics. However, critics highlight alternative approaches like biomimicry and raise concerns about the expanding concept of sentience and moral standing. The researchers recommend caution and mindfulness to avoid animal suffering in their work.