Q&A: Elephants use the tips of their trunks to grasp things with great precision—how this can help robotic design?

An elephant uses its trunk for eating, drinking water, communicating, exploring the environment, social behavior, and making and using tools. The trunk, which contains six muscle groups, is not only very strong—it can uproot a tree—but can be used with great precision. Elephants use a number of techniques to grasp objects, including suction, pinching with the two “fingers” at the tip of the trunk and wrapping the trunk around the object.

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