Robot grippers are getting more advanced all the time. In fact, engineers use nature as inspiration to improve their designs. A team of engineers and marine biologists at Jacobs School of Engineering have developed a better suction cup inspired by “the mechanism that allows the clingfish to adhere to both smooth and rough surfaces, such as rocks in the area where the tide comes and goes.”
Their devices can cling well to wet and dry objects in and out of water. They can hold 100s of times their own weight. The researchers even added an arm equipped with these suction cups to a ROV to manipulate a raw egg without breaking it.