It’s not exactly easy to design a robotic hand for robots to pick an object up, so what do you do when you’ve got a limited budget? Well, if you’re able to get hold of an inflatable ball and coffee grounds, you might be able to come up with the solution here. This “hand” uses a technique called jamming, which means that when air is blown into the balloon, it expands slightly, allowing the coffee grounds to move a bit, allowing the gripper to conform to complex shapes. When the air is sucked out, the coffee grounds bind together and the object is now firmly held. It’s a pretty cool, useful, and low cost solution to pick up objects. You can check out a video of this grip in action after the jump.
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