I investigated a jamming based Robotic Gripper. This gripper is designed to pick up unfamiliar objects of widely varying shape and surface properties. Most current designs achieve this by increasing the degrees of freedom however this also increases the hardware and software complexities. In our jamming gripper we have a a single mass of granular material (coffee grounds) that, when pressed onto a target object, flows around it and conforms to its shape. Upon application of a vacuum the granular material contracts and hardens quickly to pinch and hold the object without requiring any sensory feedback.
Original Concept By: Dr. Heinrich Jaeger
Reference: E. B. et al, “Universal robotic gripper based on the jamming of granular material,” 2010.