P17027: Starfish Gripper


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

An expandable starfish robot is an underwater gripping device attached to a container unit. The soft-body gripping mechanism is to utilize either pneumatic or hydraulic force to actuate the expansion and retraction of the robot, mimicking the function of a starfish to achieve a grasp on an object. This project will build upon the background of multiple projects focused on developing robotic hands that mimic the human hand as well as robots that mimic a fish swimming.

The goals of this project are to develop an efficient, reliably controlled gripper device, capable of effectively deploying and successfully capturing a range of target objects. The expected end result is a functional robotic gripper prototype, successfully tested under various trial circumstances and ultimately marketable to the targeted consumer companies. The resulting design and functional device need to effectively perform in submerged environments, utilizing surrounding fluids.

Project Name
Starfish Gripper
Project Number
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Harold Paschal
Primary Customer
Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard

Team Members

From left to right: Matthew Landolfa, Giordan Meyer, Derek Cloos, Jonathan Greeley, Duy Tran

From left to right: Matthew Landolfa, Giordan Meyer, Derek Cloos, Jonathan Greeley, Duy Tran

Member Discipline Team Role Contact
Matthew Landolfa Mechanical Engineer Mechanical Design Lead msl2719@rit.edu
Giordan Meyer Mechanical Engineer Hydraulics/Pneumatics Lead glm5198@rit.edu
Duy Tran Electrical Engineer Circuit Design Lead dt4865@rit.edu
Derek Cloos Electrical Engineer Programming Lead dwc4790@rit.edu
Jonathan Greeley Mechanical Engineer Project Manager jjg2444@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Project Management

Project Photos and Videos

Planning & Execution

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation


Special thanks to Boeing for sponsoring this project, as well as Hitec and Integra Enclosures for donating crucial components to the project. The team is very grateful for your contributions.

public/Photo Gallery/BoeingLogo.jpg public/Photo Gallery/IntegraEnclosure_Logo.png public/Photo Gallery/HitecLogo-Black.jpg

Also, thanks to Mr. Rob Kraynik, the staff of the RIT ME Machine Shop, and Mr. Mike Buffalin for your help with fabrication.