“Strong enough to lift a person, yet gentle enough to embrace a child.”

Tentacles have inspired fear and respect in humans long before anime came into the scene. Sailors shivered in their timbers at the thought of the great Kraken, or that octopus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It’s no surprise to know that humans have been trying to harness this fear and respect in technological form since the mid-20th century at least.

The fascinating world of tentacle robots has come a long way. It used to be that every breakthrough in tentaclebot technology had to be justified with either a military or misogynistic application, as demonstrated in this remarkable MIT project from 1968.

Thankfully our society has moved on since those misguided times, and while there is still the ever-present military-industrial complex to push for tentacled combat-omatons, forward-thinking people on the domestic front like [festo] demonstrate that at least some of us want to use tentacle robots for peace, love and food handling.

Catch the video after the break.



  1. Brett says:

    1968? Very nice, Its actually very smooth too :D

  2. Jenna Fox says:

    I made some little single axis tentacles (trivial to make two axis version) for a halloween costume recently, from some fish tank stiff silicon hose, paracord, embrodery thread, and a servo mounted to the arm structure with a little makerbot-printed bracket: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Ptj0mZNl0

    Turned out really well, and cost me less than ten bucks per tentacle! :)

  3. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    I, for one, was disheartened to read an entire post about tentacles and see no mention of:

    Tentacle rape
    Maniac Mansion

  4. Gilliam says:

    i was disappointed too.

    I read that too fast and thought it said
    “…peace, love and fondling.”

  5. Red Mullet says:

    I’ve always wondered what comb-a-tomatons would look like :)

  6. Whatnot says:

    Makes me realize how rare tentacle robots are in scifi, even now that we can render the whole thing, you don’t see them in star wars AFAIK nor star trek nor stargate etcetera.

    Overall it’s very rare to see them.

  7. Whatnot says:

    They also make other things that are interesting like an air jelly (fish)


  8. ENKI-][ says:

    Tentacle arm + coffee gripper => win

  9. therian says:

    tentacles + robot + japan => weird sex bot

  10. jimmy says:

    “…Thankfully our society has moved on since those misguided times…”

    Yeah, right. Funny stuff.

  11. JAGAK says:

    Pretty sure it was a squid not an octopus in 20,000 Leagues Beneath The Sea :P

  12. PocketBrain says:

    Think of it more as an elephant trunk than as a tentacle, it takes on a friendlier character.

  13. Ramen Alchemist says:

    It’s a mechanical prehensile tail.

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