Elephant’s Trunk Image
An elephant's trunk inspired the creation of a new soft fabric robotic gripper by a team of UNSW Engineering researchers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

An invention similar to an elephant’s trunk has potential benefits for many industries where handling delicate objects is essential. UNSW Sydney developed a soft fabric robotic gripper that behaves like an elephant’s trunk to grasp, pick up, and release objects without breaking them.

The device has an enhanced real-time force sensor that is 15 times more sensitive than conventional designs and can grasp and hold objects of various shapes and weights up to 220 times heavier than the gripper’s mass.