project specification

Magic-ball Soft Gripper

The Origami Robot Gripper is a robotic arm featuring a 3D printed silicone grip that conto

MIT Csail


Grasping force120 N at -60 kPa
Manufacturing method3D printing (FDM )


The origami “magic-ball”  is a well-established origami design. It is folded from a rectangular piece of paper pre-creased with a repeating waterbomb pattern that is offset by a half-unit on every new row. The waterbomb pattern features a square with folds along its diagonals and a vertical axis of radial symmetry. This “magic-ball” structure can be reversibly changed between a spherical shape and a cylindrical shape, therefore it has been utilized previously in the development of morphing robots 

The gripper-to mount connector is surrounded with silicone skin. When the gripper closes in on an object, a vacuum collapses the silicone around it, effectively grasping the item without crushing it—and it’s capable of doing so for objects that are up to a hundred times its own weight. 

The origami “magic-ball” can exhibit a significant  radialcontraction with a volume reduction of more than 90% [30].Furthermore, if one end of the origami “magic-ball” is fixedand  closed,  then  the  other  end  can  be  opened  to  form  ahollow  hemispherical  shape

Read the article about this project here.


Paper describes the design and fabrication process, and the characterization of the gripper.

Shuguang Li, John J. Stampfli, Helen J. Xu, et al.

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