Biomimicry continues to make amazing strides. Festo just released footage of their OctopusGripper being put through the paces.
Via the Festo site:
The gripper consists of a soft silicone structure, which can be pneumatically controlled. If compressed air is applied to it, the tentacle bends inwards and can wrap around the respective item being gripped in a form-fitting and gentle manner. Just as with its natural model, two rows of suction cups are arranged on the inside of the silicone tentacle. Whilst the small suction cups on the end of the gripper work passively, a vacuum can be applied to the larger suction cups, by means of which the object adheres securely to the gripper. This means that the OctopusGripper can pick up and hold a variety of different shapes.