Chameleons have evolved a superfast and long tongue to grab insects in an instant. Inspired by this marvelous bit of nature, engineers at Seoul National University of Science and Technology created "Snatcher," a robotic tongue design that could someday be mounted on drones to pick up packages. From IEEE Spectrum:
"For example, a quadrotor with this manipulator will be able to snatch distant targets, instead of hovering and picking up," explains Gwang-Pil Jung, a researcher at Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) who co-designed the new device.
There has been other research into robotic chameleon tongues, but what's unique about Snatcher is that it packs chameleon-tongue fast snatching performance into a form factor that's portable—the total size is 12 x 8.5 x 8.5 centimeters and it weighs under 120 grams. Still, it's able to fast snatch up to 30 grams from 80 centimeters away in under 600 milliseconds.
"Robotic Chameleon Tongue Snatches Nearby Objects in the Blink of an Eye" (IEEE Spectrum)