Recently-graduated high school students Sam Baumgarten and Graham Hughes have developed a pretty rad robotic gripper with the help of Arduino and 3D printing. The gripper itself consists of three large hobby servos joined to the fingers with a linkage. The underactuated fingers have a force sensor under each contact point, while the control glove is equipped with tiny vibrating motors at the fingertips. This, of course, provides haptic feedback to ensure that the user doesn’t crush anything–the greater the pressure, the stronger the motors vibrate.
The gripper is mounted to a handle with abrasive tape–the same kind found on staircases and skateboards. The tape is also used on each finger for optimal gripping. A box at the base of the pole houses all of the electronics, which include an Arduino Pro Mini for controlling the addressable LEDs on top, another Arduino for handling the communication and fingers, and a battery for power.
Aside from the vibration motors, the glove features flexible resistors on the back of the fingers, an LED strip for visualization, a breakout board for measuring the resistance from the flex sensors, a battery, an Arduino Uno for processing, and an XBee module for transmitting the signals to the Arduino in the gripper.
If you think this sounds awesome, wait until you see it in action. Both Baumgartnen and Hughes (who actually created the original prototype shown below) have shared demos of the project, along with a detailed breakdown of the build. Kudos to Hackaday for finding this incredible piece of work!