Universal Robot Gripper

One of the problems with robots is that there really is no good universal gripper. Each application requires special grippers and end of arm tooling.
Here is a simple solution that uses a latex balloon, ground coffee, and a little vacuum.
http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-10-robotic-gripper-coffee-balloons.html
In a similar vein, Iemca showed a magazine bar loader at IMTS that requires no channels (liner sets) in order to accomodate a wide range of bar diameters.
The bar loader uses magnetic rheological fluid in place of channels. Magnetic rhelogical fluid becomes more viscous in the presence of a magnetic field. Basically the bar loader creates its own channel via a magnetic field being applied to make the MRF nearly solid.
--

Dan

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On 10/28/2010 4:05 PM, D Murphy wrote:

Interesting concept, I have seen a similar application used in a broken bone splint used by emergency response personnel. It consists of a flat bag (they come in several sizes) which is wrapped around the member to be immobilized, secured with Velcro straps. A vacuum is created with a hand pump and the vermiculite particles inside the bag coalesce to form a secure grip.
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That's pretty badass actually. It's not just a nigrig, it's well thought out. I give them a thumbs up for thinking outside the box. Imagine what it could do after industry tweaks if for a decade.
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