Researchers at Cornell University, the University of Chicago, and the iRobot Corporation have been trying to find a way for a robot hand can grip a variety of objects. The end result of their efforts is a party balloon filled with coffee grounds:
They call it a universal gripper, as it conforms to the object it's grabbing, rather than being designed for particular objects, said Hod Lipson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and computer science.[...]
"This is one of the closest things we've ever done that could be on the market tomorrow," Lipson said. He noted that the universality of the gripper makes future applications seemingly limitless, from the military using it to dismantle explosive devises or to move potentially dangerous objects, robotic arms in factories, on the feet of a robot that could walk on walls, or on prosthetic limbs.
Link via Fast Company | Photo: John Amend