The company Festo is currently working on a prototype of a robotic elephant’s trunk, via its Festo Bionic Learning Network department.
The trunk, which also resembles an octopus tentacle, uses an air pressure mechanism for movements as opposed to servo motors.
Provided with a grabber, it has a truly omnidirectional flexible arm allowing it to perform manipulation tasks like catching moving objects.
There are many potential applications: in farming, medicine, domestic robotics as well as for the elderly or handicapped.
Two demonstration videos: