Adaptive Gripper Extends Robot Application Opportunities
Robotiq’s Adaptive Gripper is the first industrial-grade gripper that gives today’s robots “hand-like” capabilities to enhance their ability to manipulate a wider variety of objects using one tool.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed May 02, 2011

Continued Growth in the Robotics Industry
It’s an exciting era for robotics, which took its early start in factories and the automotive world. Over time, the use of robots for automation of tasks has expanded into a wide range of industries in both service and industrial environments. Key economic drivers for the increased interest in automation have been the need for improved efficiency in manufacturing and the use of more off-the-shelf components that have shifted prices downward, eliminating barriers to entry. These factors, combined with a reduced workforce due to a higher percentage of aging population, create stronger interest in robotics solutions.

Technology has become more accessible. As a result, robotics is piggybacking on the computer and telecommunication industries to leverage cheaper computational force, wireless communication, and embedded electronics. Even so, there are still some building blocks that are specific to robotics that the industry must continue to develop. This is the case for dexterous grippers or hands that fit on the end of robot arms.

The Challenge
Challenges still exist for grasping different sizes and shapes of parts in unstructured environments in service robotics, and for flexible manufacturing in industrial robotics. The current standard in industrial and service robotics is to use simple, two-jaw grippers. And, in research laboratories, they tend to use complex, fragile, expensive hands that are loaded with motors and sensors.

The Solution
Robotiq fills this gap by providing an Adaptive Gripper that is simple to control and robust enough to be used on robots, even in industrial environments. The Gripper was recently launched at the Automate 2011 show in March. Key features of the Gripper include:

  • Three articulated fingers that adapt automatically to the shape of objects
  • Ability to control force applied and detect grasping
  • Embedded mechanical intelligence that allows the grasping task to be done locally at the gripper level without the need for complex software
  • Easy installation and interfacing on a wide range of robotic platforms supporting mainstream communication protocols

 

Interesting partnerships are forming for the next generation of robots. Robotiq currently works with Motoman, which will be distributing the Adaptive Gripper, and has integration with others such as QinetiQ and its Talon robot and Willow Garage’s PR2.

About Robotiq
Robotiq is a robot components manufacturer based in Quebec City, Canada, that works with robot manufacturers, integrators, and researchers to deliver scalable, dexterous grippers that enable new applications and reduce time-to-market. www.robotiq.com

For more information, contact:
Pamela Rasey, Director of Marketing
1-888-ROBOTIQ (762-6847) ext.111

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