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Does the Octopus Hold the Key To Robot Design?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the or-are-they-just-a-bunch-of-slime dept.

Robotics 347

balancedi writes "Simultaneously controling 8 jointless arms without getting them all tangled up is a neat trick that octopuses do with ease. According to a National Geographic article several researchers from around the world think understanding the octopus holds to key to the optimal robot design."

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True Story: (5, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642897)

Octopuses have intrigued scientists for years, because they have both long- and short-term memory, they remember solutions to problems, and they can go on to solve the same or similar problems. They have been known to climb aboard fishing boats and open holds in search of crabs. They can figure out mazes, open jars, and break out of their aquariums in search of food.

This part of the linked article rang very true for me.

True story:

Octopus are underrated. Seriously. I used to have an (Octopus bimaculoides) [utmb.edu] as a pet (her name was Cephus, short for Cephalopod) and I was always amazed at the intelligence and problem solving abilities she exhibited. One day I was returning from working all night at the sleep lab followed by a day of class. I had a new bag of goldfish to feed her and placed them in the "goldfish tank" across the table from her 100gal aquarium. She always got excited at that and would hang on the side of her tank and look at the goldfish. At any rate, I got a couple hours of sleep and then ran back to work for another all night shift. Upon stumbling back home the next day, I was stunned to find no goldfish in the goldfish tank! I did not know if I was just seriously sleep deprived or what, but closer inspection revealed goldfish scales floating around in Cephus's tank........and a trail of dried salt water on the table top from her tank to the goldfish tank. She had opened the top of her tank, navigated across the table to the goldfish tank, helped herself to every last goldfish in the goldfish tank and then crawled back home, closing the top of her tank! All I could do was stare in dumbfounded amazement.

She also exhibited curiosity with new objects placed into her tank, exploring them extensively, and I must admit, it is most interesting in that unlike other aquatic non mammalians.....when you looked into an octopus eye, they look back at you. There is something absolutely intelligent behind those eyes.

Re:True Story: (2, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642978)

There is something absolutely intelligent behind those eyes.

3 brains...
So, could we say that 8(arms)=2^3(brains) ???

Re:True Story: (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643063)

3 brains...

I thought it was 3 hearts.

one for me, one for my baby and one more for the road

Re:True Story: (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643129)

You're right, I just had a "lapsus scripti"...
Anyway, the brain is known for its amazing level of development.

Re:True Story: (2, Interesting)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642984)

I have fish, turtles, snakes, (and dogs and cats of course)

How would I go about getting an octopus? Are they expensive?

I've heard similar stories, that they are really quite intelligent.

Re:True Story: (4, Informative)

avandesande (143899) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643137)

caring for a salt water animal of any kind is a serious and expensive undertaking.

Also octopus only live a year so they aren't the best pets if you grow attached.

Re:True Story: (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643195)

I don't currently have a salt water setup but I have in the past....

They only live a year though? That kind of sucks.

I've had my oldest turtle for 18 years now. (and he was an adult when I got him so I have no idea how old he actually is)

Re:True Story: (2, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643306)

Turtles are on the other end of the scale. You'd better make a provision in your will for the care of the turtle after you die. I don't care of you're 18 years old, and you plan to live to be 100. If you take care of that turtle, it'll outlive you. I think that's pretty damn cool.

Re:True Story: (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643303)

Also octopus only live a year

Haha, you think you are smart Mr. Octopus? Come back and tell me about it next year!

Re:True Story: (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643160)

I don't think your run of the mill octopus is that expensive...

However a salt-water setup suitable for it is going to cost you (unless you have that already, you did say you were into fish)

Re:True Story: (1)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643359)

I have fish, turtles, snakes, (and dogs and cats of course) How would I go about getting an octopus? Are they expensive? While octopii do have strong arms and an extremely intelligent and curious minds, this invariable leads to their doom in captivity. Whenever they are bored or see something interesting, they try and explore their environment. Usually this involves pushing open the lid of the fishtank and climbing out. Unfortunately, they are not too good at climbing back in. This happened in the marine research laboratory my Dad worked for. No matter what size of the tank, the octopus would either attach its arms to one side of the tank and the lid and attempt to push the two apart. Or failing that, move into a corner of the tank, and attempt to prise two sides of the tank apart.

China and Octopus Robot Technology (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643003)

I feel that any robotic technology derived from studying octopus limbs should be kept secret. Would you want the Chinese to access such technology and to build a robotic soldier that could engage in warfare against, not only Tibet, but also the USA [phrusa.org] ? The possibility is disturbing.

Re:True Story: (1, Interesting)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643014)

If you don't mind me asking, what happened to 'Cephus'? you speak of her in the past tense.

if I had mod points....

Re:True Story: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643090)

Cephlapods don't tend to live long. Don't know about octopi, but a lot of small squid species only live 2 or 3 years.

Re:True Story: (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643329)

It's octopussies, not ....

er, um, It's OK, Latin root, nevermind.

Re:True Story: (5, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643251)

If you don't mind me asking, what happened to 'Cephus'? you speak of her in the past tense.

She died of old age. When I got her, I had found her on my SCUBA tank after we had returned home. She was soooo tiny (about the size of my thumbnail), and we were miles away from the ocean by that time. I did not want her to die, so we mixed up some artificial sea water and I carried her home to place her in a 100gal aquarium I had. Fed her with feeder goldfish, but clams and crabs purchased from the local pet store was what she really enjoyed. She lived about two years (which is very good for an octopus), grew to about 13 inches and finally died from old age.

Next In the News (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643018)

She had opened the top of her tank, navigated across the table to the goldfish tank, helped herself to every last goldfish in the goldfish tank and then crawled back home, closing the top of her tank! All I could do was stare in dumbfounded amazement.

Next in the news:

IT Jobs Outsourced to Octopii
She also exhibited curiosity with new objects placed into her tank, exploring them extensively,

Typical geek behaviour. Good thing I'm already used to eating seaweed...

Re:True Story: (5, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643026)

Ever seen one of those nature specials? Jesus, they REALLY make you appriciate the abilities of those things. They can squeeze though like 3 inch diameter tubes to get to food, can climb out of a tank to get food, and just solve lots of problems.

I agree, probably one of the most underrated animals.

Re:True Story: (0, Offtopic)

nearlygod (641860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643034)

You expect a guy in a $3,000 dollar suit to beleive that? Come on!

Re:True Story: (0, Offtopic)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643088)

They are also nutritious and delcious!

Re:True Story: (0, Redundant)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643190)

This has definately spurred my interest in getting a tank again. I've not had a tank in a long while.

Thanks a bunch. :)

Re:True Story: (1)

ajnsue (773317) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643233)

So what exactly do you do in the tank if I may ask?

Re:True Story: (4, Funny)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643328)

Some times I drive it around town. I get pulled over a lot, but I think it's worth not having to worry about traffic.

Re:True Story: (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643436)

same here....after hearing the story i want one. The only downside is their 1 year life span. but to have an octopus would rock - though I am thinking of the Alien movies and getting a bit freaked :D

Re:True Story: (1)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643199)

This sounds incredible, but is actually confirmed by the article:
They can figure out mazes, open jars, and break out of their aquariums in search of food.

Re:True Story: (1)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643239)

(her name was Cephus, short for Cephalopod)

For a second there, I thought you were gonna say Bocephus [hankjr.com] .

Re:True Story: (5, Interesting)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643351)

She also exhibited curiosity with new objects placed into her tank, exploring them extensively, and I must admit, it is most interesting in that unlike other aquatic non mammalians.....when you looked into an octopus eye, they look back at you. There is something absolutely intelligent behind those eyes.

They say the large octopus has an intelligence equivalent to a housecat. Perhaps we don't relate to the intelligence of these creatures (ie, find it surprising when they demonstrate intelligent behavior) because we don't interact with them on a daily basis. I never think twice about the intelligence of my cats because they're so common. I'll tell you, though... I started thinking twice about eating "grilled octopus" at the local restaurant after finding out just how smart they are.

First calamari!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11642899)

Fried in salads, yum!!

Dr Octo FP (-1, Offtopic)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642907)

Oh yeah I went there. FP

LOL Octopus (-1, Offtopic)

legomad (596194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642912)

LOL Octopus

Real question (5, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642918)

Does the Octopus Hold the Key To Robot Design

Even deeper question is, in which arm?

Robot Design... (-1, Offtopic)

10000000000000000000 (809085) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642922)

AND nuclear fusion
¦D

I'm no ichthyologist (4, Funny)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642930)

But I'm more inclined to think that these guys [tolweb.org] probably have a lot more interesting robotics applications than octopusii do.

Unless they think that making robots taste delicious is the secret to robot movement. Mmm... octopod

Re:I'm no ichthyologist (0)

thenetbox (809459) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643047)

Just a friendly note that the plural of octupus is 'octopuses' or 'octopodes'. Octopusii was a villain in a James Bond movie :)

suckers (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642950)

I wonder how the octopus handles making typos.

Re:suckers (1, Funny)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643058)

Better, more efficient Shakespeare. 1 million octopi typing on 1 million keyboards would produce the works of Shakespeare 4 times faster than those damn dirty monkeys.

Re:suckers (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643146)

Is that why the infinity symbol is a "lazy 8"?

Editor? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11642956)

Hello?!? The plural for octopus is octopees

Morons... is there a real editor in the house?

Beeblebrox Octopus (-1)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11642967)

I think Zaphod Beeblebrox holds the key to optimal robot design. Not only does he have multiple arms, but also an extra head!

Next.... (-1, Offtopic)

Himring (646324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643008)

understanding octopussy....

Of course, this is old news... to Spiderman 2 fans (5, Funny)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643013)

Doc Oc has known this for decades. ...in other news, Robotics Scientists often fall asleep during Spiderman movies and have epiphanies in the mornings following.

My prediction: Slashdot article in the near future about the possibility of armored soldiers riding anti-gravity sleds pumped up with performance-enhancing drugs.

And Now... (3, Funny)

Avyakata (825132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643015)

Perhaps they can figure out a way to replicate other octopus-like behavior, too. Like, say, squeezing into a bottle half it's size. I mean, that'd be great for all kinds of thing, consider what...

oh, wait...nevermind...

So, make slimy and slippery robots. Got it. (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643030)

The fact that an octopus doesn't get tangled up is probably related to the fact that the arms are (1) smooth, (2) pliable, (3) slippery, (4) oiled/lubricated, (5) immersed in a fluid. The way the arm tapers from large to small probably has some value here, too.

What do you think hair conditioner does? It mostly lubricates the hair strands so it won't get traction and kink up onto other strands.

Are we going to build tentacle robots that are oozing oil along their smooth plasticene actuators? I think I've seen a few Japanese cartoons along this motif...

Re:So, make slimy and slippery robots. Got it. (0, Offtopic)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643076)

Yet another research field where Porn leads the way.

Re:So, make slimy and slippery robots. Got it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643150)

What do you think hair conditioner does?

Yeah, good luck! Maybe if you'd asked what Slashbots think shampoo does...or soap...

Re:So, make slimy and slippery robots. Got it. (2, Insightful)

Red Weasel (166333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643166)

when an Octopus is in motion( not hunting or fighting) only the Body decides whereto go. All of the legs get there as THEY see fit without any effort from the octopus.

So basically the head says move and the legs figure out for themselves how to do it.

Overlooking the Obvious? (0, Flamebait)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643210)

The fact that an octopus doesn't get tangled up is probably related to the fact that the arms are (1) smooth, (2) pliable, (3) slippery, (4) oiled/lubricated, (5) immersed in a fluid. The way the arm tapers from large to small probably has some value here, too.

How about this, in a Darwinian frame of reference:

Those octopi whose arms
did tangle were eventually removed from the gene pool.
this comment may not be deemed appropriate for some schools, where the octopus is viewed as a diety

Re:So, make slimy and slippery robots. Got it. (5, Funny)

SLot (82781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643344)

(1) smooth, (2) pliable, (3) slippery, (4) oiled/lubricated, (5) immersed in a fluid.

That sounds a lot like the perfect date.

Re:So, make slimy and slippery robots. Got it. (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643374)

Yes, but the legs never even get close to tangling themselves, even if they were not lubricated. They are pretty good at manuvering.

Octopus? Are they serious? (5, Funny)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643050)

The octopus as an optimal robot design? Did none of them see The Matrix?! [google.com]

Somebody warn them before it's too late!

Mod Parent Down! (2)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643204)

I saw the same documentary, but, I believe that the animals in question are squids, and not octopuses.

That kind of inaccuracy should be unacceptable in these scientific circles.

DOC OC! (2, Funny)

EvilAlien (133134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643340)

The fools!

If they go down this path, it is obvious that Marvel Comics' world domination plans will be complete! They will simply use intellectual property lawsuits [wired.com] based on the Doctor Octopus character... oh Stan Lee, what evil hast thou wrought?

Re:Octopus? Are they serious? (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643438)

Yeah, because we all know flying robotic octopuses with fricken laser beams are so close.

What's it like holding hands with an octopus? (-1, Flamebait)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643056)


"It can be intimidating at first, because they wrap their arms pretty tight around you, and everything they latch onto is pretty much headed straight to their mouth," Schmitz said.

Wow, it sounds like Bill Cosby has been learning some of these robotic octopus moves...

Has to be done... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643059)

I for one welcome our robotic octopus overlords.

Each creature has several 'brains' (5, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643078)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/09/09 07_octoarm.html

In that the octopus has a brain hierarchy. The central brain sends a 'go get that food' command to a sub brain in the tentacle which executes commands in the completion of that goal on its own. The main brain doesn't have to think about controlling the mechanics of each arm.

Re:Each creature has several 'brains' (1)

theguywhosaid (751709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643222)

clickey [nationalgeographic.com]

Re:Each creature has several 'brains' (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643403)

Shit, I wish I could do that.

Fricken homework...

the Matrix (0)

avandesande (143899) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643085)

Maybe the Matrix wasn't so far off after all...

This just in... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643091)

A japanese schoolgirl, when asked for comment after reading this story said, "Well, I for one welcome our new robotic tentacle overlords."

Urban myth amongst animal behavioural psychologist (5, Interesting)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643097)

I have no idea whether it's true or not but... WTF, it's Friday :)

A friend who is a throbbing-brained molecular biologist, with a PhD and everything :), told me this after too many pints of beer.

He was told by the guy from the next lab over, at lunch, who'd heard it from someone in another lab at a party,...

Some behavioural psychologists - I may have their precise taxonomic appellation incorrect - were planning an experiment with an octopus. They had a large maze, constructed of perspex. At one end was the octopus, at the other some food. The idea was just to time how long it took to navigate the maze and get to the food, which different routes it explored and so on. Well, they spent a long day setting everything up, getting the measuring fu in place and so forth. At the end of the day's work, the experiment was ready to run; they'd even connected the aquarium tank with a nice fresh octopus up to the maze equipment. The plan was to unlock the little hatch and give the octupus free access to the maze the following morning.

So they come in bright and early the next day to find the food gone, the octopus fed, and the little hatchway re-locked from the inside...

Octi Movement (5, Informative)

Red Weasel (166333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643109)

The coolest part about the Movement of Octopus is the fact that only the body desides where to go. It's up to the legs to figure out how they're going to get there.

If you ever get down the the Aquarium of the Americas you can get a pretty good display of this. Just make sure you make it for one of the feeding times 'cause the feeders do all the classic Octopus tricks(fish in a bottle, fish in a tank, fish with mirrors, mazes, etc).

Here's a thought... (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643122)

Are you telling me that an animal has to be very intelligent to not tangle its arms? Are you kidding me? It sounds like instinct or common sense, to me...

Re:Here's a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643219)

Um, no, that's not at all what they're telling you.


Are you telling me you'd have to be very intellegent to RTFA? Are you kidding me? It sounds like instinct or common sense, to me...


Political Correctness gone too far (4, Funny)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643123)

From the linked article:
Indeed, with their bizarre (at least to humans) looks...

Re:Political Correctness gone too far (1)

BrettJB (64947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643201)

Well of course! They wouldn't want to offend their octopus readership now, would they?

I suspect there's also a rather large crossover population of squid and jellyfish reading TFA as well...

The dolphins, however, couldn't care less.

Re:Political Correctness gone too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643440)

Lol, you just made my day :p

I for one... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643145)

welcome our new octal robopussies.

Re: Does the Octopus Hold the Key To Robot Design? (5, Funny)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643163)

It holds, like, 8 of them.

mod u p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643165)

an3 shower. For

Octopus Holds the Key to Robot Design? (5, Funny)

spud603 (832173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643175)

Great!
Now whack it over the head and take it from him. We've been looking for that.
Damn octopi...

Mod parent up. No. Really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643364)

Heh

I spat coke all over my keyboard!

It had nothing to do with your half-assed excuse of "humour", I'm just very clumsy.

Slashdotted (1)

MLopat (848735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643188)

Has the site been /.'ed already? Anybody have a cache link?

All I can say is... (4, Funny)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643200)

Does the octopus hold the key to robot design? I think the more important question is: Does the octopus hold the key to totally awesome robot design?

Re:All I can say is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643424)

Or totally awesome soup . . .
http://soup.allrecipes.com/az/ShrimpndctpsSpCld dCm rnyPlp.asp

Personally, I think.... (1)

Joshua53077 (849570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643226)

...that understanding the robot holds the key to robot design.

I could be wrong... (1, Insightful)

SamSim (630795) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643244)

...but last time I checked, the plural of "octopus" was "octopi", right?

Re:I could be wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643342)

Heh everyone always says virii instead of viruses, and now octopuses instead of octopi.. Will nerds ever learn?

Re:I could be wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643347)

Wrong. -pus is Greek, and the Greek plural is -pod. But Octopod refers to the entire order, so the only acceptably plural is octopuses.

Re:I could be wrong... (2, Informative)

ryants (310088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643382)

Correction: the Greek plural is -podes. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=octopus

Re:I could be wrong... (1)

Tringard (595737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643380)

last time I checked, the plural of "octopus" was "octopi", right?

That's the first thing I thought when I saw that. Surprised to see it in a National Geographic article too. So I checked [reference.com] and it turns out both work....

Re:I could be wrong... (1)

ryants (310088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643410)

Octopi (sic) is definitely wrong. -pus is Greek, and the proper plural is -podes, but that's awkward in English.

The only acceptable plural of octopus is therefore octouses.

Linky [etymonline.com]

Obligatory "Mystery Men" Quote (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643253)

Sphinx : "You must lash out with every limb, like the octopus who plays the drums."

Mystery Men [wikiquote.org]

Nature==Free Engineering Lessons (3, Interesting)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643281)

I'm glad to see this. Going into computing from a psycology/neuroscience background, I always found biology to be an excellent source of ideas (or if nothing else, metaphors), for my work.

Nature has already solved many a problem (with some flaws like any solution). It's bad enough to reinvent the wheel. It's worse to reinvent something even more complex.

The sad part is wondering what else is out there that isn't being studied because we didn't think of it yet.

Re:Nature==Free Engineering Lessons (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643481)

The only thing that sucks is that biology is more effcient than many "artificial" solutions derived from it.

So they have multiple cerebellums? (2, Insightful)

10000000000000000000 (809085) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643283)

to keep the arms from constantly tangling themselves up, each arm has an independent peripheral nervous system and neural circuitry

Interesting. This seems somewhat like the honda robot Asimo, in that Asimo also doesn't have just a single "brain" but rather a single primary processing unit and smaller controller units for each of his joints.

Duh! (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643285)

http://images.google.com/images?q=dr%20octopus

plurality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643295)

octopi, dude. seriously.

need I say it? (1)

jbridge21 (90597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643299)

CTHULHU WILL EAT YOUR SOUL

Re:need I say it? (1)

k96822 (838564) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643336)

Or save it and redeem it for valuable coupons later.

Sounds like good management or OO encapsulation (4, Insightful)

BrettJB (64947) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643339)

From the article:
Earlier research funded by the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) suggests that, to keep the arms from constantly tangling themselves up, each arm has an independent peripheral nervous system and neural circuitry (see related-story link below). This allows the brain to essentially give a command--"Arm Four, fetch that tasty crab crawling by"--and have the arm carry out the order without the brain thinking about it again.


Sounds like good management to me. Management (the octopus) assigns a task to one of their reports (arms). Tell them what to do, but don't micromanage the task.

Or, it sounds like encapsulation. Pass just enough information to the Arm object to communicate the task, and allow Arm's private methods handle the detals of how that task is accomplished.

Just ask the "Doctor" (0, Redundant)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643369)

Doctor Otto Octavius [imdb.com] would concur.

Fools! (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643372)

How did the octopus get a hold of the key?

They have eight tentacles and a razor sharp beak!

I suggest they get one of the interns to try to get the key back from the Octopus!

The Tentacle (4, Funny)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643381)

"If you had something--a person, say--floating in a water column or in space, a straight mechanical arm is likely to push it away," said Thomas McKenna, a project officer at the ONR. "But an arm you could use to gently wrap around an object and retrieve it, that would be useful." Also, they are real popular with doe-eyed, psuedo-asian, female superheros.

Plural forms? (4, Informative)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643431)

Lesson [upenn.edu] on the correct plural version of Octopus. Very interesting read.

Octopus Robot Arms (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643445)

Already done. It didn't work out well.

See for yourself [jsonline.com]

Key to robot design: has to be alive. (2, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643449)

Octopi have one major advantage over 8-armed robots: they are alive, and have brains, something like muscles and neurons to go between. If we could make a robot that had a brain, muscles and neurons, I doubt we would care much about giving it 8 arms and watching it move them around without tying them in a knot. The octopus just has to think to itself, "don't tie my arms in a knot", like each of us does every day, and voila, no arm knots.

Squiddies! (1)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11643469)

Oh, shit. So robots are gonna look like Sentinels [thescarymonkeyshow.com] ?

Whoa.

The Octopus the Key To Robot Design? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11643485)

Sounds like a suckers bet to me.
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