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Robot Hand Masters Beer Pong: Because It Can’t Handle the Consequences

by Lambert Varias
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If you happen to be at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 6, drop by Empire Robotics‘ booth for a chance to challenge its robot to a game of beer pong. Spoiler Alert: it won’t miss.

versaball_beer_pong_robot_by_empire_robotics_1zoom in

Empire Robotics is setting up the demo to show off the capabilities of Versaball, its robotic gripper. Instead of fingers, it has a ball filled with sand-like material.

versaball_robot_gripper_1zoom in

When the robot isn’t holding anything, air is pumped into the ball, loosening the grains inside. To grip an object, the air is sucked out of the ball. This causes the grains to compact around the object. This process is so precise that Versaball can grip delicate objects without crushing them.

Air is pumped back inside the ball to let go of the held object. If air is pumped back in with enough force, Versaball will end up throwing the held object. Thus, beer pong:

Bring your “A” game, CES attendees.

[via Emergent Futures]

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