Elephant Trunks

Video: Smithsonian

Bielefeld University in Germany is developing a robotic arm that will be similar to an elephant trunk.  Elephants, as powerful as they are, can be very gentle.  The trunk can pick up a small peanut or a giant log.  To be able to have a robot as mobile and skilled in a large variety of tasks as the elephant trunk would be an incredible technological breakthrough.

So, how do elephants do it?  Researchers believe the trunk is unique in that the elephant can choose where to form a joint depending on the job required.  If the elephant needs a lot of power, the trunk joint will be high up the trunk.  For finer motor skills, a joint will be created at the end of the trunk.


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