BalloonBot Uses Coffee Grounds, Balloon to Grip Objects

Getting robots to grip oddly-shaped or delicate objects has been a problem in the past. The standard metal claw has little finesse, which is an issue if you want to have a means of delivering small screws or pills. iRobot, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago worked together to develop a that would be able to do better than a claw.

Inspired by their invention, Steve Norris created his own universal gripper using a balloon filled with coffee grounds, a Reynolds Handi-Vac, and a robotic arm. By placing the balloon on top of the object to be picked up, and then removing the air from it, Norris is able to move everything from a pair of forceps to a couple of Tylenol capsules.

While Norris hasn't provided instructions, it seems like a fairly straightforward build for someone who already has expertise with robotic arms. Check out .

is arming himself for the impending robot apocalypse.

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