Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Low-Cost Morphing Robotic Hands Could Revolutionize Blue-Collar Bionics

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the might-come-in-handy dept.

Biotech 21

malachiorion writes "Cornell, MIT and iRobot have all shown off so-called jamming manipulators: rubbery blobs that grip objects by deforming around them. But with the first commercially available version shipping to industrial and manufacturing customers, Cornell spinoff Empire Robotics has a new market in mind: Prosthetics. While impossibly expensive, neuro-controlled bionic hands continue to be a fantasy for most amputees, jamming manipulators could do the job. This article is about the merits of a low-tech, self-gripping stump, that could be powered by hooking up to an air compressor." This seems like a decent solution while we close in on a method to regrow lost limbs.

cancel ×

21 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Ooops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45958497)

They got me here with Lost-Cost Morphin...

then I saw it's a robot story.

Re:Ooops (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#45962333)

well, you could use the self-gripping stump to grip the doctors throat until he shoots some morphine into you...

Re:Ooops (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 8 months ago | (#45962431)

What were you expecting? Low-Cost Morphing Power Rangers? :P

two words. "dalek plunger" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45958665)

i cant be the only one to have this thought come to mind. Really, I can't be.

I remember the discovery just a few years back (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#45958831)

Basically put sand in a tough balloon, push it onto something so it deforms around it, and suck out the air -- boom, a near-rocklike custom-shape gripper.

Re:I remember the discovery just a few years back (1)

Spiridios (2406474) | about 8 months ago | (#45959127)

Basically put sand in a tough balloon, push it onto something so it deforms around it, and suck out the air -- boom, a near-rocklike custom-shape gripper.

Pretty much. There's a couple of links in TFA, but this video I found was pretty illustrative: Versaball [youtube.com]

Re:I remember the discovery just a few years back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45960771)

You could just use a hand shaped object, say a neoprene glove, filled with sand, and it would probably look better than most of the grippers on the market today anyway.

Re:I remember the discovery just a few years back (1)

malachiorion (1205130) | about 8 months ago | (#45965069)

Yeah, they unveiled the research back in 2010, when it was still a combined Cornell/U of Chicago/iRobot project. The parties sort of went their separate ways since. The news here, in theory, is that while iRobot is still in the experimental stage with its own jamming gripper work, Empire Robotics (comprised of some of those original Cornell researchers) have brought it to market, and are actively pursuing prosthetics next.

Like anything else, porn will lead the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45958865)

This sounds like a modern "stranger"

Prosthetics, what could go wrong? (1)

CHIT2ME (2667601) | about 8 months ago | (#45958877)

Hi, I'm Bob. Please shake the rubbery blob on the end of my stump.

Even combat has a silver lining. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#45958935)

The United States is on the forefront of prosthetics innovation, yet another of the seemingly endless societal benefits of keeping a working military.

The secondary link in TFS highlights Michael Levin's work with tissue regeneration: interesting shit.

Re:Even combat has a silver lining. (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | about 8 months ago | (#45960259)

Next thing you'll say is that it's good to send people to war because it generates many limbless research subjects.
The reason why military is producing results is because it's being funded. But research is still just its byproduct.
A dedicated civilian team working to solve these problems can only yield better results.
On a semi-related note: Prosthetics are too expensive.

Re:Even combat has a silver lining. (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 8 months ago | (#45960615)

The United States is on the forefront of prosthetics innovation, yet another of the seemingly endless societal benefits of keeping a working military.

^^^^ keeping a steady stream of people with no limbs
YAY for war

Re:Even combat has a silver lining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45962181)

To borrow a quote,

"Everybody must live, and what would become of the soldiers if their legs were never broken?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

The Powerpuff Girls (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#45960301)

Oh, so that's how the Powerpuff Girls hold things [tvtropes.org] , and why Buttercup thought Professor Utonium's hands didn't work in that body switch episode ("Criss Cross Crisis" [wikia.com] ).

Blue-collar bionics... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 8 months ago | (#45960499)

The Six Dollar Man?

good (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#45960643)

There is a desperate need for lower cost, more versatile prosthetics.

PopSci Dickheads. (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about 8 months ago | (#45961423)

Those morons at Popular Science have geo-blocked the link, so the only way I can read it in Australia is via a proxy

proxy block (1)

alxtoth (914920) | about 8 months ago | (#45963411)

works from northern europe .

Re:PopSci Dickheads. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#45963671)

I just searched YT for "empire robotics", now YT has my metadata and the morons have nothing. I do the same when The Australian or The Age says I have read enough freebies for the months, just go elsewhere and all this crap will stop working for them

These so-called semantics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45962261)

so-called [princeton.edu] : (adj) alleged, so-called, supposed (doubtful or suspect) "these so-called experts are no help".

Read it until you understand it.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>