Among the many interesting projects thought up in the Cornell Creative Machines Lab comes this useful and inexpensive robot gripper.
The researchers note that traditional robot gripping arms may be precise, but they struggle to pick up abnormally shaped objects. Their answer to this is to use coffee grounds, a balloon, and air pressure. The robot uses suction to grab and release items, and does so with surprising accuracy. This use of air pressure will lead to a whole new wave of manufacturing processes.