DIY Robotic Gripper: Give Yourself A Hand

What high-tech materials are required to make a robotic hand that can pick up almost anything? Coffee grounds and a latex balloon. The design comes from a team of researchers including Heinrich Jaeger of The University of Chicago and John Amend, who is now trying to sell these grippers through Empire Robotics. But you can make your own version at home with some simple materials. The only tricky-to-find object you'll need is a vacuum pump (I got mine from here:, where you can also find an excellent instructional video).