Get a (sensitive) Grip!

Get a (sensitive) Grip!

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

Highly sensitive robot gripper: No need for pneumatics

Force-sensitive, dynamic, energy efficient and with a range of applications – these qualities are what distinguish the new robot gripper created by the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronic Systems Design IEM. It can transport fragile objects from one production step to the next without damaging them. The gripper is specially designed for the food industry, where careful handling of fragile products helps to avoid waste. The electric drive makes costly pneumatics obsolete.

The gripper system can be set up with two, three or four fingers and adapted for a range of tasks and purposes – meaning that it could also be used for the automated handling of other fragile products such as glassware. “The fingers have a plastic-based, soft and flexible coating, which enables them to keep a delicate grip on fragile materials and avoid damaging them. The robot gripper is also extremely dynamic and can easily be incorporated into production processes. It maintains the required balance between speed and sensitivity at all times,” says Dr. Christian Henke, head of the Scientific Automation department at Fraunhofer IEM. Precise and dynamic control technology enables targeted finger movement and complex product control. Sensors integrated into the fingers determine the amount of pressure required.

The robot gripper will be presented at the joint Fraunhofer booth at the Hannover Messe 2023 from April 17–21 (Hall 16, Booth A12).

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