Scientists have developed a soft-bodied robot octopus capable of propelling itself around underwater, wedging itself into tiny crevices between rocks.
The prototype octo-bot is the work of the BioRobotics Institute at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy, and represents a victory for soft robotics — a fairly new field focused on the creation of squishy machines. For the rest of us, it’s a baby Cthulhu.
The robot is a major step in a program that began in 2009 to build a replica of an octopus, and was tested in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this year. The prototype can draw in liquid and expel it, or use its eight legs to crawl over rocks on the sandy sea bed.