Arduino motor shield
(2) Hitec HS-645MG ultra torque servo motors (amazon.com)
Vaccum pump https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10398
Coffee (I used Maxwell house, original roast)
12" round balloon
Lazy Susan bearings http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002TIKEQ6/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Cast Acrylic tube http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0070ZQGRE/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Two feet of 3/8 inch OD, 1/4 inch ID tubing
Various 3D printed parts, design and print files at:
12 volt 1 amp power supply
5 volt 1 amp power supply
The more it surrounds the target and the greater the vacuum, the greater the chances for a successful grip.
Since we are working with minimum "push" (servo motor 10 inches away) and low vacuum (low cost pump)--we have to do everything possible to help the system.
Reducing the thickness of the balloon wall is a first step. Blow up a "12 inch" balloon and clamp it in the inflated position overnight. It will stretch.
Insert one end of the plastic tube into the top of the printed gripper--it should just press in.