Inspired by Cornell's new, innovative robotic gripper (a sort of shape-shifting balloon hand), Steve Norris of Norris Labs decided to go DIY and make his own home-brewed replica at a lower cost.
"I constructed my own version of the Cornell University Universal Gripper using parts that I had lying around my lab. This includes the CrustCrawler SG6-UT Robotic Arm, a Yost Engineering ServoCenter controller, a Reynolds Handi-Vac, and a balloon filled with coffee grounds."
It works like this: the gripper employs a technique called "jamming", in which a balloon filled with coffee grounds acts as a malleable "hand", capable of lifting a wide variety of objects, "from a car's shock absorber to a raw egg" (read more here).
Amazing. Norris, please, make us a HowTo video.
In the gallery below: the first video shows Norris' version, the second video shows the Cornell original.
More shots of Norris' copy: