Robot tentacle — part one

NOTE: This is a retroactive post, covering some documentation from early work. To make it appear in the right order, I set the publish date back to February.

I started to look at muscular ‘hydrostats’ in animals. Take a look at the wiki page. Think elephant trunks, octopus tentacles, human tongues, etc. They amazingly produce fine-grain control with no support structure besides muscle. I’d like to try and re-create this.

To get some ideas on the table, I tried to emulate lengths of muscle by simply bundling some paracord, tying off the end, and seeing what happens when I pull on a few of them.

tentacles, version 0

The action was there! The ‘tentacle’ certainly moved when I pulled. However, it seemed like the best control would come from leveraging the exterior of the shape, so I designed towards this.

A quick sketch of ideas
Casting some cylindrical sections

This design at least demonstrates that the principle is possible! Onward to another iteration.

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