This robot gripper looks like a wilted flower, but it can lift 100 times its own weight
If someone asked you to imagine a robot, says Daniela Rus, a professor at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), you’d probably think of a human-shaped bot or some heavy-duty industrial robot arm. “But for me, I would like to see a change,” she tells The Verge.
The latest work from her team at MIT is a perfect example. It’s a robot gripper that’s designed to pick up objects, but its looks are unconventional, to say the least. Visually, it has more in common with a rubber tulip or a deflated balloon than a sci-fi robot hand.
It’s this unique look that makes the gripper so potentially useful. Underneath its rubber skin is an origami skeleton that’s shaped like starfish. As gas is pumped in and out of the…