Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported, Thursday that they discovered how octopuses manage to avoid keeping their tentacles from sticking to them , even as the creatures’ brains are unaware of what their arms are doing. Dr. Guy Levy and Dr. Nir Nesher in the Department of Neurobiology at the Hebrew University’s Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, as well as Prof. Binyamin (Benny) Hochner, Principal Investigator in the Hebrew University’s Octopus Research Group, co-authored the research, “Self-recognition mechanism between skin and suckers prevents octopus arms from interfering with each other,” published in the Cell Press publication Current Biology on May 15. It was co-authored by Prof. Frank. W. Grasso at the BioMimetic and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York.
The researchers are sharing their findings with European Commission project STIFF-FLOP, which aims to develop a flexible surgical manipulator in the shape of an octopus arm. Hochner said, “We hope and believe that this mechanism will find expression in such new classes of robots and their control systems.”