One of the biggest obstacle within the realm of robotics is how to grip things. Sure, if your robot is placed at an assembly line where all the pieces are the same shape, it may be simple. But what if you want your robotic hand to be able to grip any shape? What was a seemingly impossible request before is now so easy, you can make it at home! All you need is a party balloon, ground coffee and a vacuum pump, and your robotic gripper can lift almost anything. And if you add a pressure pump, it can even throw things!If you don’t believe us then just watch this fantastic video from Cornell Creative Machines Lab! Isn’t it amazing how the simplest of materials, combined just right, can solve the most difficult of problems?
In a previously added video (Inflatable Bag Monsters!) you can see that ordinary plastic bags and garbage bags can be used to make balloon like art that moves around, but how can you weld all those pieces of plastics together? Well its extremely simple, as this video from ThreadBanger (Man Vs. Pin) shows. Here, plastic tarp is used to make a big water mattress like object, but the basic process of welding can be used for almost any soft plastic sheets and many different purposes. And best of all, if you use old shopping/garbage bags, you’ll get to recycle in the most gratifying way possible!