Malte Ahlers from Germany lucked into some FESTO hardware, and used it to build a robotic gripper (site is in German):
I was intrigued by the FESTO FinGripper mechanism which they use for their “Bionic Handling Assistant” so I asked the guys from FESTO if they would give me three samples of the FinGripper fingers — I was lucky, they did . These FinGripper fingers are interesting because of their bionic “Fin Ray Effect” which is inspired by the tail fin of teleost fishes. I developed a simple mechanism for actuation of the FinGripper fingers. The result is a very simple, robust, flexible and adaptive robotic gripper which works well with many different kinds of objects. I also did some experiments on force feedback from the gripper. I chose a very simple approach and continuously measure the current of the actuating motor. The current is of course depending on the “mechanical resistance”!