As well as being able to grip millimetre objects precisely, it has been given a smarter function.
If the ends of the paper-cut structure are replaced with PDMS material with ferromagnetic force, the small jig can be quickly actuated on and off using a remote magnetic field.
Let's see how it performs when it is given a soul.
Yang Yilai did an underwater magnetic field test: he put the small jig underwater with a magnetic field, put the magnetism of the ferromagnetic end (bottom) in static equilibrium with the paper-cut structure, threw a small stone underwater, and when the stone touched the jig, it disturbed the static equilibrium and immediately took a 'grip', catching the stone with magnetic precision within 60 milliseconds. The stone is caught with magnetic precision within 60 milliseconds.
The research, 'Graspingwith kirigami shells', was published in the recent May issue of Science Robotics, and is currently a PhD student at Boston University's School of Engineering. He says: "Compared to rigid manipulators, soft-body manipulators have limited strength, but they are more adaptable in both design and fabrication, simple in structure, more cost effective, easily scalable in size, can be combined with traditional commercial robotic arms, and can also be made into convenient and portable gripping tools."