Pipe cleaners probably played a large role in your life when you were a kid. Remember all those hours spent twisting the furry wires into weird and fun shapes? If the thought of doing that for hours hurts your hands, a Japanese tinkerer named Yoshihito Isogawa has created a robot that does the bending for you (as spotted by Gizmodo).
When a pipe cleaner is fed into the machine, the robot moves the wire along until two robotic prongs can grab and bend the pipe cleaner into shape. It’s a clever machine, and the shapes are much more even and symmetrical than what most human hands can create. The device looks simple, but it can make a variety of shapes like a heart, a star, and a cross. You can select the shape you want with the control panel on the machine, which then reads “bending...” when it gets to work.
While pipe cleaner bending isn’t arguably a job in danger of being automated, it’s cool to see this concept applied to an arts and crafts process. This is also a more fun video to watch than an actual pipe-bending machine.
Look how round those heart curvatures are! Tell me this isn’t worth letting robots take over to replace potentially getting pricked by sharp ends just for a shape that somewhat resembles a crinkled clover.