October 26, 2010
New age robotic hand comes with a firm grip
Now here’s innovation in the field of robotics that has quite a bit of merit. Working with the notion that robot hands can’t always be reliable because of texture, design or shape of the digits, the palm’s grip etc. scientists have come up with a better and easier way for designing grips for our metal helpers. The new design has proven to be very versatile from serving drinks to drawing pictures and much more. Rather than go with a conventional humanoid design the Eric Brown, a physicist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, and his groups went another way. They’ve used what’s simply described as a miniature bean-bag of sorts – a thin rubber sack filled with coffee grains or small glass spheres. In order to grip objects when the arm grasps anything air is sucked out of the sack quickly so that it tightly grips the object and that’s that. The researchers said it mere 1% change in volume was enough to have the arm grip almost anything.
Brown and his team also tested the grip on heavy objects like were two one-gallon jugs of water. As long as the gripper can fold about one-fourth of an object’s surface, it will be bale to pick up the object. I have to agree with the guys from Sciencemag, while this may not look too fancy, amputees would seriously benefit from this tiny gripper.