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Friday, February 17, 2012

New Jamming Gripper Shots

Researchers at the Cornell Creative Machines lab and the Heinrich Jaeger Lab at the University of Chicago have developed a simple passive universal gripper, consisting of a mass of granular material encased in an elastic membrane. Using a combination of positive and negative pressure, the gripper can rapidly grip and release a wide range of objects that are typically challenging for universal grippers, such as flat objects, soft objects, or objects with complex geometries. The gripper passively conforms to the shape of a target object, then vacuum hardens to grip it rigidly, later utilizing positive pressure to reverse this transition -- releasing the object and returning to a deformable state. By using both positive and negative pressure, the researchers can demonstrate performance increases of up to 85% in reliability, 25% in error tolerance, and the added capability to shoot objects by fast ejection. In addition, multiple objects are gripped and placed at once while maintaining their relative distance and orientation.
Check out the video below demonstrating the new shooting capabilities of a universal jamming gripper that also utilizes positive pressure.

(Video Credit: Cornell CCSL) 

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