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A group of researchers from the Harvard University Wyss Institute and the Massachusets Institute of Technology Computer Science Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, or MIT CSAIL have developed a robot gripper that uses a 3D printed origami structure to lift up to 100 times its own weight. Using a unique design for a robotic hand, their robot is able to pick up a wide variety of objects - such as soup cans, hammers, wine glasses, drones, and even a single broccoli floret.
The cone-shaped, hollow, and vacuum-powered device was inspired by the “origami magic ball” and comprises three parts: a 3D printed, 16-piece silicone rubber skeleton, the airtight skin to encase the structure, and the connector. The structure collapses around an object in a similar way to how a Venus flytrap works: a vacuum collapses the gripper which then closes around the object functioning like a stronghold grasp. The soft robot gripper can adapt to the shape of whatever it’s grabbing without compromising its strength.
Features - Approach - Construction - Simplicity - Robert
“One of the key features of this approach to manipulator construction is its simplicity,” says Robert Wood, co-author and Professor at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. “The materials and fabrication strategies used allow us to rapidly prototype new grippers, customized to object or environment as needed.”
The team mounted the gripper on a standard robot to test its strength on different objects. The gripper managed to grasp and lift objects 70 percent of its diameter and up to...
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