Archive for the 'RObot for industry' Category


coffee lends me a hand… litterally

I have seen many research projects concerned with how to create a gripping technology like an arUniversal gripper 2tificial hand. It is extremely difficult to do so. Tendrons, sense of feeling and many other factors needs to be taken into account before you can handle something without destroying it.

Sometimes though… there is a much simpler soloution. At Cornell University two guys have created a gripper, that can grap most things that the human hand can grab.. and it is made from… coffee… that is coffee grounds, a balloon and a vaccum pump. Stock items in most households… well at least two out three should be.

I t works by having the coffee wrap itself around the item you wish to pick up, and then remove the air in the balloon. Thereby causing the coffee grounds to become a solid structure instead of a semi liquid material. It is so simple it is close to genious.

In a previous post I wrote about a sweedish guy who had a robot hand as a replacement for his real hand which was destroyed in an accident… maybe in a not so distant future we can have prostetic hands build on this principle… that would be very practical, cheap and faster to implement – albeit not quite as pleasing to the eye. Nothing is said regarding the color of the balloon though, so you could choose a color that goes well with your outfit…


Destroy destroy…

At the RoboLab at University of Southern Denmark we have a couple of lawn mover robots that have been modified to be controlled by wii controllers, GPS or other means of control. It’s a world of fun driving one of those buggers around… now THIS however will be the ultimate toy for robotgeeks. If anybody have seen roboone, imagine what you guys could do with a.. tadaaa DEMOLITION ROBOT… the name itself is beyond cool…

It’s even controlled by bluetooth so it should be no problem hooking it up to a wii balanceboard or an iphone with a nifty little custom build interface like the one they have made for a snake robot in the lab. Finally we would hook it up to an exosceleton and world domination would be at hand…


Who wants to fold the laundry anyway

FINALLY somebody uses a robot to solve a problem that most people struggle with – folding the laundry. Definately one of the most tedious tasks of a household. Only thing is – it’s gonna run you up to 200K $ to buy one of FCons new laundry folding robots, and so far it can only handle towles. Nevertheless it is a hughe step in the right direction, and the combination of a standard low-cost robotic arm from Universal Robots and very cool vision technology that can ‘see’ the corners of the towle is really neat.  

You can read more at FCons homepage – allthough only in danish so far. The robot has been developed in cooperation with other parties such as the robotlaboratory at the university of Southern Denmark.

At about 600 towels pr. hour this machine can save a lot of labour intensive repetitive work that would otherwise be wearing the workers down.


Would you throw a hammer?

When I was a kid my dad taught me never to throw a tool – it is simply to dangerous. Never the less some people are now suggesting that the heavy, costly and unflexible transportation systems in factories should be replaced by robots simply tossing the different items to each other through the air. The thought brings a clip from the animated movie  ‘Robots’ to my mind – It’s a clip where the transportation system of the city is based on different mechanisms that throw the robots around. It seems more entertaining than pratical.

A german university is now trying to build robots that can catch items by calculating their projectory. At the present it can catch a tennis ball – and I am not quite certain I believe it would be a good idea to start tossing machine parts around in a factory floor – at least not until the technology have developed quite a bit. It is likely that such a system would be more flexible than conveyor belts and ring/hook systems, but once the number of objects being thrown is raised, the complexity of the calculations behind will increase drastically. The same can probably be said about the price of your insurance bill if you want people to walk around in such a factory.

See an example of TOTO (Tracking Of Thrown Objects) – it is apparently from the German university of Heilbronn in Künzelsau, but I have not found confirmation of this.

Robotic catching of a mechanically thrown tennis-ball from Dennis Barteit on Vimeo.