"For those of us who dreamed of trips to Mars, the trouble with our times, as Paul Valery once said, is that the future is not what it used to be."
Get a grip on this. "It turns out that opposable thumbs aren't critical for getting a good grip. Neither are fingers. Scientists have created a robotic arm that can do everything from serve drinks to draw pictures even though it has no digits. Their robotic hand, which they describe online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a thin rubber sack filled with coffee grains or small glass spheres. When this hand comes in contact with an object, a small pipe sucks air from the sack, causing it to contract and mold to the object's shape. The contraction is small—a mere 1% change in volume–but was enough to grab most objects the researchers tested." Inside the balloon hand. The robotic mitt. Via: Sciencemag.org