Jamming gripper completes robot drug dealer

Here’s an inexpensive way to build your own jamming gripper. [Steve Norris] combined a robot arm with a few inexpensive items to achieve similar results as the original. Much like the last DIY version he started with a balloon and some coffee grounds, but instead of using his own body as a vacuum pump he sourced a Reynolds Handi-Vac, an inexpensive food vacuum sealer. It connects to the balloon using some plastic tubing, and sucks all of the air out, locking the coffee grounds around an object for a firm grip. The video after the break even shows the gripper picking up two aspirin. At first we thought a servo motor was being used to seal off the tube once the air had been pumped out. Instead, it is covering a hole in the tubing, which breaks the vacuum when it’s time to let go of an object.

[via Bot Junkie]

Comments

  1. Philip says:

    Nice setup, but would be a LOT quicker gripping with rigid tubing.

  2. Luke says:

    I’ve heard of some medical applications of similar technology. For example a headrest in an mri that is basically a plastic bag full of beads that gets vacu-pumped to help hold your head perfectly still during a scan.

  3. Hirudinea says:

    Thats a nice gripper, but it WILL NOT be a drug dealer until it has a gun.

  4. Hackius says:

    This is nice but what about industrial grippers? They already have vacuum grippers in chip handling. Can’t we just source those?

  5. Brian says:

    Vacuum pickups only work on non porous flat materials. This gripper works with irregular shapes. The original seems to have been developed by the University of Chicago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d4f8fEysf8 . It is revolutionary, a simple design with huge array of applications.

  6. M4CGYV3R says:

    @Hirudinea: Not one of the drug dealers I frequent…I mean know casually…own a gun which they keep in their house.

    I know one dealer who’s a bit of a gun nut, but he keeps them all out at his parents farm and shoots them for fun, not revenge or business.

    On the other hand, if this can break up my QPs and divvy up 1/8ths for me, I’ll totally get into the game. Bonus points if it can pick out seeds.

  7. strider_mt2k says:

    “Jamming gripper completes robot drug dealer”

    There is no robot pornography here.

  8. Torwag says:

    As Luke pointed out already this method is used for emergency medical services.
    Patients with possible spine injury will be moved carefully on a kind of mattress filled with Polystyrene beads. They suck the air out, the person will molded inside and be fixated for transport. Smaller pillow like units can fixated a broken leg or arm during transport.
    Guess it could improve the gripper to use those Polystyrene beads, however, the grinded coffee is really a nice hack.

  9. itwork4me says:

    remember the crash bags in demolition man?

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