Coffee: The New Super Ingredient In Future Robotics

Now that is an intriguing headline, don’t you think? It’s even more so when I have the pleasure of telling you that it is all true. Researchers have long tried to find a good material that, instead of the humanoid hands, are able to grab, move and hold objects of different shapes. It has been a mini holy grail to find a good concept that enables the pick up of any object without having to switch the tool with which to do so. The solution seems to be a rather tasty natural substance that pretty much half the world’s population drinks in order to get started in the morning.

Yup, it’s coffee, and it’s used in a way that most of us would think of as a little corny to say the least. The coffee beans are ground down into a fine powder and then packed into an elastic membrane. Used together with a vacuum and a bit of geekilicious technology, this whole thing can pick up just about anything you can think of. That includes everything from cups, screws, pens, glasses and even raw eggs.

I admit that after looking at the video, it’s not quite what I had pictured when I thought about future iRobots walking around having artificial intelligence. I mean, the humanoid hand is way more sexy, but I guess some things take some time to get used to. This concept; however, has proved to be astoundingly better at grabbing, lifting and moving things than any robotic hand before. Now where does the coffee come in? Well, it’s the one material that they have found, after extensive research, to have the best capabilities of making a truly amazing gripping device. Even though I think this is cool and all, I will now retire to my corner and begin sobbing. I want my iRobot to be able to shake hands with me instead of punching me in the chest with a coffee filled balloon.