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A Robot with a Firm Yet Gentle Grasp

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The gripper can grasp objects as fragile as a berry or an egg.

A robotic gripper developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo engineer uses repulsion between magnets to adjust the stiffness of its grip.

Credit: Douglas Levere/University at Buffalo

Researchers at the University at Buffalo (UB) have developed a dynamic gripper that mimics the adjustable grip of the human hand, a breakthrough that could improve industrial safety.

The robotic hand's design allows it to absorb energy from impacts during collisions, preventing whatever the robot is holding from breaking and making it safer for people to work with and near the machines.

Rather than having two fingers that are fixed in place, each of the gripper's fingers has a magnetic base that sits between two neodymium magnets that push against the finger.

The air gap between the magnets acts like a spring, creating a little give when the hand picks up an object or collides with an external force.

Said UB researcher Ehsan Esfahani, "These grippers are designed for collaborative robots that work together with people."

From University at Buffalo News Center
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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