Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This is neat. Makes me wonder what the theoretical gripping strength of something based on coffee grounds and rubber could be, though. Seems more of a "delicate operations" device than anything seriously beefy. The idea of a phase-transition robotic hand is just cool, though. I wonder what the reaction time of its grip could be? The release sounds relatively fast, but the close might be a little slow, given the need to pump a vacuum every time.



Bill Johnston said...

One of my professors in grad school was working with a fine mixture of metal particles. It was fluid normally, but solidified quickly when a current was passed through it.

It was probably a bit stronger than coffee grounds :)

Mitch H. said...

Mmm, that particular technique probably isn't so great for anything sensitive to magnetic flux, though. Betcha it produces a heck of an EM field. The vacuum hand, on the other hand - I have to wonder what the inevitable turbulence involved in the transient state would do to precision? The placement of the air nozzle would probably strongly affect the "tumble" angle of the grip - I'd imagine that it'd tend to pull towards the nozzle, as the further end of the glove solidifies faster than the close end?