What a time to be alive.
Scientists at Houston, Texas-based Rice University have found a way to turn dead wolf spiders into “necrobotic” grippers.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Unlike humans, spiders move their limbs through antagonistic muscles powered by a single flexor muscle and a hydraulic system in the center of the insect’s body that pushes out fluid to open its legs. Interestingly, this is why spiders curl up when they die since there’s no pressure in their legs’ flexor muscles, according to The Verge.
The team at Rice University managed to find a way to power this hydraulic system by pushing air through the dead spider’s body via a syringe to open and close its legs, similar to an arcade claw machine.
Below is a video of the sci-fi-sounding technology in action.
The spider gripper is capable of opening and closing 1,000 times and can lift roughly 130 percent of its body weight, according to the team at Rice University. The team behind the project says that more than just wolf spiders can be manipulated with necrobotics, but that at least so far, it’s primarily experimented with this specific type of arachnid.
It’s unclear what this technology could be used for in the future, but it’s undeniably fascinating.