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GummiArm Lets You Shake Hands With a Robot

Thursday 28 September 2017


What will the next generation of robots entering into our daily lives look like? Chances are they will be soft enough to forgive a moment’s carelessness, but precise and responsive enough not to spill when pouring hot tea from a rapidly emptying pot. A bit like you and I, in other words, as such variable passive compliance seems key to many of our own dexterous skills. Could it also be the key to the perfect hand-shake? 

The GummiArm (https://mstoelen.github.io/GummiArm/) is an open-source and printable arm which can be soft when needed. The robot combines structural components that are printable on hobby-grade 3D printers, and rubbery tendons in an agonist-antagonist configuration. This enables easy replication, robustness even to fast impacts, a repair cycle of minutes when something does break, and stiffness and damping when required. The design has come a long way over the last 2 years, and is promoting a thriving community of makers, engineers and scientists.

We in Fieldwork Robotics (fieldworkrobotics.com) are keen to promote advanced versions of the technology for research, teaching, service robotics, and for selective harvesting in agriculture. Please come by our exhibit for more information, and for a proper GummiArm hand-shake - it might just surprise you!

The GummiArm will be at IP EXPO Europe on October 4-5 as part of the Future Tech Demo Zone.

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