Prize-winning robot arm is as flexible as an elephant’s trunk


You may not see this development in a plastics facility too soon, but the possibilities it brings are certainly interesting for processors. A team of engineers from Festo, a manufacturer of factory and process automation, and from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (German acronym Fraunhofer IPA) were awarded the €250,000 that goes with winning the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2010, presented by the German president, for innovation in technology.

Plastics do play a big part in the success of the new robot arm, which the developers describe as being much like an elephant's trunk—flexible, sensitive and yet very strong. German Federal President Christian Wulff presented the award to Peter Post and Markus Fischer of Festo and Andrzej Grzesiak of Fraunhofer IPA. "The plastic trunk is made of bellows ...
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