This crazy-long robotic arm is made out of helium balloons


What's bright silver, weighs next to nothing, and can reach up to the fifth floor? While most robot arms are trying to develop brains, this one's gone on a strict diet. Unlike the robotic arms you might find in a factory, this device, developed by the Suzumori Endo Laboratory at the Tokyo institute of Technology and discovered by IEEE Spectrum, uses a series of helium-filled balloons to form its arm. The use of balloons means that the entire 20-meter-long structure weighs just 1.2 kg--light enough for simple pneumatic artificial muscles to be used to articulate its joints from the ground. There are some very evident drawbacks to the so-called Giacometti Arm--presumably named after artist Alberto Giacometti, who is famous for his slender, spindly sculptures depicting the human form.

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