October 27, 2010 AT 9:57 am

Balloon filled with ground coffee makes ideal robotic gripper

1-Balloonfille

Balloon filled with ground coffee makes ideal robotic gripper

The human hand is an amazing machine that can pick up, move and place objects easily, but for a robot, this “gripping” mechanism is a vexing challenge. Opting for simple elegance, researchers from Cornell University, University of Chicago and iRobot have bypassed traditional designs based around the human hand and fingers, and created a versatile gripper using everyday ground coffee and a latex party balloon.

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