Mechanical design, analysis and testing of a large-range compliant microgripper
Abstract. This paper presents the mechanical design, analysis, fabrication, and testing procedures of a new large-range microgripper which is based on a flexible hinge structure. The uniqueness of the gripper is that the gripper arms not only provide large gripping range but also deliver approximately rectilinear movement as the displacement in nonworking direction is extremely small. The large gripping range is enabled by a mechanism design based on dual-stage flexure amplifier to magnify the stroke of piezoelectric actuator. The first-stage amplifier is a modified version of the Scott Russell (SR) mechanism and the second-stage amplifier contains a parallel mechanism. The displacement amplification ratio of the modified SR mechanism in the gripper has been enlarged to 3.56 times of the conventional design. Analytical static models of the gripper mechanism are developed and validated through finite-element analysis (FEA) simulation. Results show that the gripping range is over 720 µm with a resonant frequency of 70.7 Hz and negligible displacement in nonworking direction. The total amplification ratio of the input displacement is 16.13. Moreover, a prototype of the gripper is developed by using aluminium 7075 for experimental testing. Experimental results validate the analytical model and FEA simulation results. The proposed microgripper can be employed in various microassembly applications such as pick-and-place of optical fibre.