Soft Robotic Manipulator Enabled by Jamming of Granular Media
This video demonstrates a robotic manipulator that is robust, high-force, low-cost, and highly articulated without employing traditional actuators mounted at the manipulator joints. Rather, local tunable stiffness is coupled with off-board spooler motors and tension cables to achieve complex manipulator configurations. Tunable stiffness is achieved by reversible jamming of granular media, which—by applying a vacuum to enclosed grains—causes the grains to transition between solid-like states and liquid-like ones.
These videos were first presented at IEEE ICRA, 2012. The paper title is: "Design and Analysis of a Robust, Low-cost, Highly Articulated Manipulator Enabled by Jamming of Granular Media"
MIT Robotic Mobility Group