Toroidal Grasping and Manipulation
During my freshman year I was recruited by the Olin's Interactive Robotics Lab (IRL) to design an end effector for one of their demos. They wanted the robot to pick up a marker off a table and use it to draw pictures for onlookers. My gripper needed to be capable of picking up a marker and rotating it 90 degrees to writing position. My solution was to design a servo actuated toroidal gripper. The final product was capable of grasping and manipulating the marker reliably using only a single motor and no sensory feedback. This project was completed over the course of a semester. Along the way I learned important lessons on molding, ROS and Arduino.
My first prototype involved trying to pick things up by manually inverting a water wigglie. This endeavor was a great success so I found a servo and used it to drive the gripper.