Arm that catches actors and dynamic behavior.

So I am trying to make these arm actors that can catch other actors. So far, I’ve tried 4 techniques, of which 3 has been prototyped to some extent.
Have a video:

Going from right to left:
2 arms with rigid body with animation blending.
Animation using 2x two bone IKs (planning to try the leg IK).
Spline with just blueprint behavior.
I also tried using the Cable component, but did not see a way to attach a socket to the end of the cable.

The rigid body actually looks quite nice I think, and does allow the actor to be posed in pretty much any position.
The animation one does not look that good, it’s got these two obvious “joints”, but maybe that could just be my poor rigging.
The spline one is quite interesting and could allow for some custom behavior, but its socket that the actor attaches to does not rotate, and would overall require a lot of programming.

There are some problems i am facing.
I would also like to implement some additional behavior of the arm, such as if an actor is close, it would reach for it rather than just being idle. Detecting the actor wouldn’t be difficult, but the act of reaching for it I’m not sure how to do.
Another problem is the actors movement. I need to limit their movement area to be within reach of the arm, since it’s holding on to them, while they still have their own behavior (unlike in the video, where the arm actually deactivates the actor and move it around by itself before lifting it).

So why am I posting this? Well, I’d like to know what techniques are used for accomplishing something like this. How would you do it? Any suggestions of how to accomplish something, or pointers to something that might help is appreciated.