Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Universal robotic gripper

Gripping and holding of objects are key tasks for robotic manipulators. The development of universal grippers able to pick up unfamiliar objects of widely varying shape and surface properties remains, however, challenging. Most current designs are based on the multifingered hand, but this approach introduces hardware and software complexities. These include large numbers of controllable joints, the need for force sensing if objects are to be handled securely without crushing them, and the computational overhead to decide how much stress each finger should apply and where.

In this robotic hand, individual fingers are replaced by a single mass of granular material that, when pressed onto a target object, flows around it and conforms to its shape. Upon application of a vacuum the granular material contracts and hardens quickly to pinch and hold the object without requiring sensory feedback. "Universal robotic gripper based on the jamming of granular material", PNAS, 17 Sept 2010


  1. This is so cool! I'm definitely following your blog!

  2. Wow dude that is pretty crazy. I second what Kate says^^^

  3. This is so cool, makes you wonder why we tried robotic "hands" to start with.