Robotic Arm Writes, Draws, Grasps Objects Without Fingers
October 26, 2010 11:30 AM
comment(s) - last by
Robotic arm with grain-filled sack instead of fingers
(Source: John Amend)
"Universal gripper" eliminates the need to program individual joints
University of Chicago
researchers have designed a robotic arm that is capable of performing every day tasks such as writing, drawing and serving drinks. But what makes this robotic arm special is that it can
complete these common tasks without fingers
Eric Brown, lead author of the study and a physicist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, along with John Amend, co-author of the study and an engineering student at Cornell University, have designed and developed a
robotic arm that can grasp
and control household objects without the use of fingers.
While fingers and thumbs are necessary for humans to pick up a glass of water or write with a pen, Brown explains that fingers and thumbs on a robot would be more difficult than helpful. The fingers would require a computer to manipulate several individual joints, and in the past, robots have sometimes proved to be sloppy with the use of their fingers. Sometimes the
robots grip too hard
and break the item they're holding, and other times they don't grip the item very well at all and drop it.
But now, Brown and Amend have created a "universal gripper" that omits the use of fingers completely on a robotic arm. Instead, there is a small rubber sack at the end of the arm which contains small glass spheres or
. When the rubber sack touches a desired object, a pipe sucks air from the sack in order to mold the rubber sack to the object's shape and cause it to contract. The contraction is a one percent change in volume, but it is enough to grab most items.
The idea of using a grain or rubber sack is not new, though. However, Corey O'Hern, a physicist at Yale University who did not participate in this study, did mention that this is the first time a study had been completed with so much detail and proper testing.
"This seems like a much better way to go," said O'Hern.
Amend notes that the universal gripper's greatest advantage is its versatility, but adds that it has some trouble picking up flat objects, porous objects and objects bigger than half its size. But despite these limitations, Amends says "as long as the gripper can fold about one-fourth of the object's surface, it can pick up just about any shape thrown in its path."
O'Hern offered advice in regards to the gripper's problem with picking up certain objects, saying that Brown and Amend should make the sack stickier. But on that same note, having the gripper let go of an object would be more difficult that way.
Brown and Amend hope the fingerless robotic arm can be used
in the future. This particular design, with a little work, could improve the way tens of thousands of patients in the United States function on a daily basis, and without having to control eight individual fingers and two thumbs, using this robotic arm would be simple.
was published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
How many of you know Doraemon?
10/26/2010 12:21:45 PM
You see! Doraemon is indeed a robot of the future.
I've always wondered how Doraemon was able to hold objects with its ROUND hands...
RE: How many of you know Doraemon?
10/26/2010 2:28:23 PM
I'm thinking Bomberman ;), but that'll be the military version.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
Researcher Allows Robot to Punch Colleagues During Lab Experiment
October 15, 2010, 6:00 PM
Study Observes if Babies See Robots as Sentient or Inanimate Objects
October 14, 2010, 7:30 PM
Human Testing to Begin on Mind-controlled Prosthetic
August 9, 2010, 6:45 AM
Whiffing is a Hit Worldwide, Coffee Whiffing is the Latest Craze
April 1, 2010, 9:50 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information