Tokyo grad student Tezuka Sota's "Origami Hand" is a robotic gripping hand whose plastic-coated, water-resistant folded paper is sterile, disposable, and free from moving parts and lubricants, meaning it can be used in difficult environments that are hostile to bearings and oils, like space or underwater.
Current functional prototypes use two "fingers," future models will use five fingers.
One is that each finger is composed of a piece of water resistant paper and does not require any mechanical parts such as shafts and bearings. Therefore, no foreign matter enters between the joints, it is inexpensive and can be disposable, so there is no need to worry hygienically. Another feature is to adopt a mechanism called "familiarization mechanism" that moves passively according to the shape of the object to be gripped. This makes it possible to cope with variations in shape and size of food without complicated control. Because of these features, this hand can be used in many places outside the factory. It is lightweight because it is made of paper, and it can be used as a prosthetic hand or to be mounted on a drone easily because its size can be freely adjusted if the magnification is changed. In addition, since mechanical parts requiring lubricating oil are not used, operation in outer space and deep sea can be easily performed.
Origami-hand [Tezuka Sota/James Dyson Award] (Google Translate)
(via Four Short Links)