Soft robotics is an emerging field that promises to yield machines that are more useful, flexible, and lifelike than your average bucket of bolts. But the biggest advancement in soft robotics may be 25-years-old. It also looks oddly… phallic.
In a YouTube video uploaded by user Koichi Suzomori, which may or may not be the actual Japanese robotics researcher, we see a "flexible microactuator", as the video title describes it. It's a seemingly simple contraption consisting of a square central body and six flexible "arms" that appear to be fluid actuators.
The thing is, those arms look an awful lot like penises. They're 120mm long (we're not judging) and capable of locomoting the entire device around, grasping and turning screws, and holding up a lab beaker half-filled with water.
The ribbed caps on the end of each arm make them look way too much like penises for this to have been accidental. If the video is legit, it shows that Japanese roboticists in the 1980s were either very juvenile or very oblivious. Either way, when the robot apocalypse comes, hopefully it will take some other, any other, form.