Robots can use coffee as a picker-upper | Science News

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Robots can use coffee as a picker-upper

Gripper made of bag of loose grains helps machines get a grip

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4:08pm, October 25, 2010

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A small bag filled with coffee grounds is lending robots a fingerless hand. The new kind of gripper, described online the week of October 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is capable of grasping all sorts of different objects with ease.

“This could be game-changing technology,” says mechanical engineer Peko Hosoi of MIT, who was not involved with the new study. “The idea is so simple, yet effective and robust.”

The simple gripper is made of a bag of coffee grounds and a vacuum, though other grains such as couscous and sand also work, says study coauthor Eric Brown of the University of Chicago. To pick something up, t

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