This is why I love Japan. Stuff like this.
SWITL (which stands for Special World Idea Technology Revolution - the Japanese transpose Ls and Rs) is described by its makers Furukawa Kiko as:
"a hand-held type of the SWITL for moving soft objects without collapsing their shape. It is a Robots hand for handling soft and jelly like objects which loose shape when gripped, cannot be gripped, or cannot be touched, etc.There isn't much other information about how it works (though someone has had a stab at how on Quora here), so right now let's go with MAGIC.
Objects like Mayonnaise and Ketchup can be picked up without changing their shape and moved to a different location while retaining the shape".
The main application I can think of for this is in bakeries, and indeed a test video on Furukawa Kiko's site shows this in action.
Each hand-held unit is priced at 70,000 yen, which is just under £600, and they're looking for distributors now.
I am tempted. Boy, am I tempted.
(with thanks to Food Player and Essex Eating for the heads up)
Repeat after me: I DO NOT NEED THIS!
(OK, it's super cool and I want one too but £600 is a lot of money to pick up my sauce spills without smearing them)
@Su-Lin - :D
@Food Urchin - If you teach them to poo on flat surfaces.
@Pavel - Yeah!
Lookn what I've found so you don't have to spend £600 but can still pick up your ketchup shapes:
@chasingbawa - Hehe, it's cool.
@Suzler - I KNOW!
@tori - Excellent!
@Kavey - You are indeed a genius!!