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Adaptive robot gripper system

Adaptive robot gripper system

The Versaball agile robot gripper from Empire Robotics can hold a wide range of different object shapes, providing different grip dynamics and grip strengths. The operating principle of the Versaball robot gripper is to leverage the phase transition of granular materials. As a granular material becomes more dense in the Versaball robot gripper, the granular material jams together creating a material with the characteristics of a solid.

In practice, blowing air into the Versaball robot gripper balloon softens the balloon, so allowing the robot gripper to easily conform to the shape of the target object. After pressing down on the object, air is ejected from the Versaball robot gripper, inducing the jamming transition and creating the grip. This principle allows the robot gripper to grip a variety of different objects.

Empire Robotics offers the Versaball robot gripper in two sizes: a small head version with a 3.5in diameter and a large head version with a 6.5in diameter. Target object size range is in the order of 50% of the robot gripper head size.

The small and large heads on the robot gripper can handle vertical payloads up to 10lb (4.54kg) and 20lb (9.07kg) respectively, and maximum tangential payloads are 20lb (9.07kg) and 40lb (18.14kg). This enables the robot gripper to handle many different object shapes and sizes.

Pinching pressure on the object is around 5psi for the small head robot gripper and 7psi for the large head robot gripper, with grip times of 0.1s and 0.7s respectively. Empire Robotics says the Versaball robot gripper can provide a linear placement precision of ±0.03in (±0.76mm) and an angular placement precision of ±2°.

Rated air flow for the Versaball robot gripper is 80psi, and the minimum required air flow is 25CFM. A vacuum loss of less than 0.5inHg per 30 seconds ensures a good sealed vacuum hold time.

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