Making a robotic elephant trunk is harder than you’d think

Were this lobster not made of industrial-strength plastic, metal alloys and a nickel metal hydride battery, Dr. Ayers … seemed frustrated enough to drop [it] into a boiling pot of water and serve it up for dinner.

Mr. Snakebot complains it’s hard to get funding these days. A maker of robotic flies—who happens professor at the University of California—laments the difficulty of making these robots: these flies, geckoes, fish. And the RoboLobster? Don’t get me started.

What is the world coming to. Six-legged robots “inspired” by cockroaches have their own websites. So does CMU’s snakerobot. And Berkley’s MechoGecko.

Read of these things, so that you might be forewarned.

(It’s not necessarily what you’d call an inspired article, but it has its moments.)

(NYT: “They’re Robots? Those Beasts!” by Scott Kirsner [September 17, 2004])