This video captures a crucial aspect of lean thinking – searching for the simple and elegant solution.
We can’t say this is an obvious idea, a lot of very smart people have been working on this problem for decades.
But it is a simple idea. Sometimes the search needs to be outside of the regular domain people are used to working in.
The web site is here:http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/jamming_gripper
The other aspect of lean thinking that is captured here is keep working to solve the problem. I run into so many technical people today who are so convinced that the problem is unsolvable with current technology that they either give up, or look to advance the state of the art in some (usually expensive) way.
One thing I am glad to see is a trend in engineering schools toward making things rather than just designing them.