seems robust and reliable. It is also small
enough to fit into a robot body without
hogging all the real estate.
It does have limitations, however.
Because the gripper has to apply pressure
against the object, it would not be able to
pick up objects from the side. Objects that
have no undercuts are difficult to reliably
pick up. It cannot pick up flat objects such
A robotic claw can use pressure
sensors to determine that it has made
contact with and is holding an object.
The universal gripper cannot do that.
If an object is too heavy, the elastic balloon
I Be Jammin’
Despite the limitations, the
universal gripper is another powerful
utensil in the roboticist’s tool kit. I
imagine that we will see it
incorporated into robots that must
deal with a varied environment;
probably in conjunction with more
traditional robot hands and claws to
allow the maximum versatility.
Jamming may have other uses in
robotics, as well. To see a really
interesting robot that uses jamming
to actually move, you might check
out this video: http://singularity
You can probably see alterations
that would improve the design. Let
me know if you experiment and
come up with improvements!
Contact me at fordcharles0
@ gmail.com. SV
50 SERVO 01.2012