Shape-shifting robot can grip differently-shaped items
Posted by keelynet on December 7, 2010
The Jambot is a shape-changing robotic prototype being developed by a team led by University of Chicago Physicist Heinrich Jaeger and his group through a DARPA initiative. Also involved is iRobot, the company best known for the Roomba. He and [colleague Eric] Brown have designed a gripper using jamming and flexible structures that could replace a robotic claw.
A typical claw needs hinges, motors, and feedback sensors to prevent it from crushing the object it’s trying to hold, and the computational power to operate them. But Jaeger’s jamming-based gripper is more like a beanbag, flowing around the object and then holding it gently. “We came at this from a completely different perspective,” he says, “looking for a way to short-circuit this inherent complexity.” – Full Article Source
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