A handy new design paradigm
Abstract. In light of technological advances, researchers have lost sight of robotic grippers/end effectors design intent. In a semi-structured environment the biomimetic approach is impractical due to the high complexity of the mechanism and control algorithms. Current industrial grippers are robust, but lack the flexibility that allows for in hand manipulation. The authors believe that underactuated grippers provide the best approach to allow for in hand manipulation along with being rugged enough for an industrial setting. Thinking of the robotic gripper and the robotic arm as one system (as opposed to two separate subsystems), one is capable of using the degrees of freedom of the robot in conjunction with that of the gripper to provide the desired motion profile without the complexity of running two subsystems. This paper will outline where recent grippers have failed and will introduce a new design paradigm for grippers along with several underactuated gripper ideas.
This paper was presented at the IFToMM/ASME International Workshop on Underactuated Grasping (UG2010), 19 August 2010, Montréal, Canada.