Manipulators: Claws are old news!

Found this through digg and imediately thought about FIRST. It has a little video, so check it out!

I dare a FIRST team to bring one of these to compition next year! THAT WOULD BE SUPER SWEET!!!

it was also on engadget early this morning. pretty cool but looks like it needs a claw at the end…anybody else notice those are paintball compressed air tanks

Yeah I noticed that it looked like a part of a paintball gun I’ve seen before but I dont play paintball or know about the guns or anything so I couldnt tell which part it was… It would be soo much more cool if they had a claw, like Docto Octo, but for bombs and stuff, (its primary use in that article), I think that it would not be the smartest idea, and I’m pretty sure there were many brilliant Engineers that ruled that out during the design phase.


The tentacle mechanism is definitely cutting edge, I like it a lot. Pretty neat stuff this wouldn’t be easy to do with the FIRST KOP though and I am not sure how much weight exactly it would lift so yeah it might not be the best idea for some things. I am very excited to see a design like this in the beginning stages though.

The next step is to get the robot to lift its own weight with four or more tentacles to use to move around. Most animals that have tentacles to grab objects also use them to move around.

how about a robotic arm, with perhaps five small tentacles at the end…

no, wait, that would resemble one of those useless human appendages too closely

if the engineers who developed this heard you say that they would slap you upside the head! :^)

the whole idea is this is better than a claw - a good example of biomimicry - copying the way that bilogical creatures do things, the way that birds fly, fish swim, bugs climb walls, or in this case the way an elephant can pick up a peanut, or pull a tree out of the ground with the same manipulator (its trunk).

That is really really really cool.

As for a FIRST team using a tentacle, I don’t really think it’s practical or necessary. As FIRST teams know the shape/size/etc of our scoring objects and field elements (we hope :yikes: ), a claw or other manipulator can be designed to specifically deal with those objects, and would be much easier and cost effective to build.

I dont know - we have shoving matches on the field almost every year

it would be far more elegant if a robot could grab another robot with its trunk, pick it up, and put it wherever it wants

or a ball, or a goal, or a ref (did I say that out loud?)

Ok well me and my claw weilding tenticle thing or for that matter just a claw wielded by a normal arm type mechanism will take you and your plain tenticle on any day. we will see what can pick up more objects like a cd or other flat object…the tenticle is still cool tho

crab vs elephant?

crab vs octopus?

crab vs giant squid?

let me think about this for a minute…

As long as its using compressed air for power, I don’t think this is very practical. However, combine this with alcohol powered muscles and now we have something pretty darn cool!

And about the alcohol powered synthetic muscles, can anyone say Bender? :smiley: :smiley:

lets get something more fair such as not animals

like vs A rope

Hate to argue with you ken, but I think both of you guys missed something… an elephant uses its trunk to pick up large items… however on the end is a bit like a claw, it can pick up small objects with it, I think this is where the technology will end up. Even for bomb detection, what if it is tied to something, have cutters on the small claw on the end.

i can just imagine 71 having a giant squid bot that simply dominates the field with little box bots scurring arround trying to get away.

The main problem I have with this article is the following:

They were developed through a project called OCTOR (sOft robotiC manipulaTORs)

So we can just pick any letter we want to make acronyms now? Why even make it an acronym at all? Why not call the robot “Octor” and the project “Soft Robotic Manipulators”?

Actually, now that I think of it, this could be kinda cool. My personal mission statement, “Not every project needs an acronym,” previously abbreviated as the lackluster “NEPNAA” could instead be “nOt everY PrOject needs an acronYm” or “OY PONY!”

In the real world engineers come up with the awesome acronyms first, then come up with projects to fit the acronym!

I guess SOCTOR didnt cut it


That manipulator needs some work. It could really use some servovalves instead of using solenoids.

Good start, but still needs work.


Ya, obvisouly for their acronym, they wanted something a little catchy. I’d KISS and staywith SOFT. Of course, no one would want that… But, I agree with someof the previous things said. A pnumatic suction system is not as good as some type of claw.

Plus, I bet if a few robotics teams came together and pooled their resources, we could come up with a more efficient and effective design then an air-powered grabber.

I still think a crane or claw-type mechanism would work a lot better than the air… I wonder how much psi they get in thoes tanks?