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Give a High Five to This Robotic Arm Made of Balloons

At less than three pounds and up to 65 feet long, the snakelike Giacometti Arm can be transported almost anywhere.

The world's longest, lightest robotic arm is made of helium balloons. It weighs just 2.65 pounds.

Developed by the Suzumori Endo Laboratory at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the snakelike robot is made from silver helium balloons, extending as far as 65 feet. Its 20 individual joints are controlled by small pneumatic muscles—devices that contract or extend, operated by an air-filled, artificial bladder-like contraption that fills or releases air.


Video: Futurism/YouTube

While the lightweight robotic arm has hardly any lifting capabilities, it can hold a small camera. This could be useful in inspections or search and rescue.

Also called the Giacometti Arm, named after the artist Alberto Giacometti who made slender sculptures of the human body, the robotic arm carries the risk of succumbing to strong winds. Something very sharp could also potentially pop its helium balloons. But because it's so light and only requires helium inflation, it can be transported almost anywhere and used in situations where other devices, such as drones, can't.

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