Weird, but cool:
In what may well be a case of bio-inspired robotics gone too far, the researchers are exploring how the dead arachnids can double as a robotic gripper using hydraulic pressure. Turns out spiders use blood pressure to move their legs. When they die, their hearts stop beating, causing them to lose that hydraulic pressure. This is why they curl up into a ball when they die.
Turns out pairing them with a syringe full of air makes for a handy off-the-shelf robotic gripper.
“This area of soft robotics is a lot of fun because we get to use previously untapped types of actuation and materials,” Assistant Professor or Engineering Daniel Preston says in a release. “The spider falls into this line of inquiry. It’s something that hasn’t been used before but has a lot of potential.”