The engineers over at Festo have developed a water filled gripper, shaped like a lava lamp, capable of picking up items just as easily as the human hand.
In order to achieve ultimate precision when lifting objects, the robots arm was modeled after the stretchy tongue on a gecko, which you can see in action in the video below.
In order to effectively pick up, gather and set things back down, Festo’s silicon gripper features a pressurized double-chambered design, filled with water and air. Using pneumatics, varying amounts of liquid and gas are pumped into the chambers, where the gripper then changes shape, allowing it to grasp, pick up, and hold onto objects.
The gripper can pick up a wide variety of objects, from coffee mugs to glasses, so there is a chance we see massive factories full of these robots in the future.