Robots have certainly captured our imagination over the years, where these soul-less automatons do their bit to make life here on earth a whole lot more bearable and convenient. After all, without robots, how are most of the stuff in a self-respecting factory going to get assembled efficiently and quickly? Having said that, here we are with the Versaball robot which is the creation of Empire Robotics. Tipped to begin shipping later this month, the Versaball is a robot which was specially developed to grip items.
No, you will not find this particular robot grasping at the reins of power to take over the country and eventually, humanity, but rather, the Versaball has been developed for industrial usage, where it has been based on a robotic gripper which relies on a balloon filled with coffee grounds. Whenever the coffee-filled balloon is pushed down on an object, it ends up with a grip on objects regardless of size and shape, courtesy to the jamming transition phenomenon which is happening right in the middle of it all.
The Versaball is far more advanced than that to use coffee beans and balloons, thanks to the work done by researchers at the University of Chicago and Cornell University. Basically, the Versaball is a ball which has been stuffed with a granular material. Whenever you push it onto an object, it will fall all around the object similar to how a bag of sand would act, where a vacuum then all the air from the rubber head, resulting in a vice-like grip around said object. [Press Release]