Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Octopus-Like Arm Device Can Make Medical Surgeries Simpler

octopus-like arm device

(Photo : Tommaso Ranzani) The new medical device inspired by octopus arms.

An Italian University team of scientists had created a robotic arm that will act as support during surgical procedures in some complicated areas in the body. The robotic arm is designed to bend and contract like an octopus tentacle do.

The remote-controlled machine is flexible enough as it can be soft and rigid depends on the surgical environment to be able do a minimally-invasive operation, it can squeeze even between soft tissues and organs just by holding them apart if it is necessary. There is a miniature surgical kit that is found at the top of the arm that is a big help when performing the surgery.

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“The human body represents a highly challenging and non-structured environment, where the capabilities of the octopus can provide several advantages with respect to traditional surgical tools,” said Tommaso Ranzani, professor from Pontedera BioRobotics.

Scientists used a 1.25-inches wide silicon tube that contains inflatable cylindrical chambers in making the robotic arms. They also alternate the compression and inflation of the different chambers so that the silicon can bend up to 255 degrees and stretch up to 62 percent more than its original length.

“Generally, the octopus has no rigid structures and can thus adapt the shape of its body to its environment. Taking advantage of the lack of rigid skeletal support, the eight highly flexible and long arms can twist, change their length, or bend in any direction at any point along the arm," Ranzani added.

The newly created machine was tested using water-filled balloons with different weights to signify as abdominal organ while the other is the most cramped area in the body.

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