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News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Coffee-filled robotic gripper becomes a commercial product

•, By Ben Coxworth
  Now, that device has been commercialized – although incorporating higher-tech materials than balloons and coffee.

Created in a collaboration between the University of Chicago and Cornell University, the new version of the gripper is called the Versaball, and it's being produced by spin-off company Empire Robotics.

It utilizes the "jamming transition" phenomenon, in which granular objects remain loose and almost liquid ordinarily, but jam together to form a solid when vacuum-packed. It's the same process by which a package of vacuum-packed coffee feels rock-hard when sealed, but becomes soft and pliable once opened.

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