Grippers are common end effectors for material handling robots, and there are several different kinds of grippers on the market. Manufacturers usually choose their finger, or claw, gripper by the kind of material they are trying to grip.
(Picture source: www.festo.com)
According to an article by Robotic Trends, the kind of object may not be an issue anymore with the new LearningGripper, a gripper that has the ability to teach itself how to grip different shaped objects. This pneumatically actuated gripper learns the shape of an object and then orients the object in the proper direction.
Robotics company Festo is the driving force behind the LearningGripper, giving manufacturers a lower cost gripper that is more flexible and user-friendly. The four-fingered gripper is similar to a human hand, and its finger grips are moved by using 12 pneumatic actuators.
One of the demonstrations of this gripper’s abilities, according the article, was the gripper teaching itself to handle a small ball. It would move the ball in specific directions to Festo logo different ways.
The big pull toward this gripper, as opposed to other grippers, is its machine learning and lightweight construction that make it a lower costing item. If an end effector is faster and more accurate, while also saving manufacturers money, why wouldn’t it be popular, right? Through in a user-friendly interface, and the LearningGripper may just be the next market winner.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator for KUKA, FANUC and Motoman, works with many different companies to provide our customers with grippers of all shapes and sizes to fit their applications. Our company works with customers through the design and simulation phase, our engineers not stopping until our customers are completely satisfied with their system or workcell.