of a super-gentle robotic gripper made with layered polyamide was inspired by fish
It can grip
irregularly shaped fruit or fragile chocolate eggs without damaging a light
aluminum foil wrapping.
FinGripper consists of a bellows-like pneumatic actuator and three gripper
fingers arranged in the pattern of the tail fin of a fish. The structure consists
of two flexible bands that meet to form a triangle. Stays are connected to the
bands by articulated joints.
adapts to the shape of a work piece when pressure is applied laterally - much
like a human hand, but faster.
"The flexible design of the FinGripper even
allows chocolate eggs to be gripped if they are leaning to one side or are
incorrectly positioned," says Federico Nardone, a design engineer for FluidoDinamica
an Italian systems integrator.
pneumatic valve ensures correct pressure and allows acceleration and pressure
ramps to be applied. Cylinder pressures can be adapted to production or sorting
processes with variable flow rates provided by proportional valves. Everything
is connected to a robot controller.
is manufactured by automation specialist Festo AG
of Esslingen, Germany using
additive manufacturing. Layers of polyamide powder are applied in thicknesses
of 0.1 mm to create a three-dimensional component. This reduces weight of the
component by 90 percent compared to a conventional metal gripper.
a factory in Esslingen to build lightweight components with additive
manufacturing. Three processes are used there: SLS of plastic powders, laser
melting of metals such as aluminum, and fused deposition modeling (FDM) for polymers.Click here
to read an article illustrating application of the gripper with an arm that
mimics an elephant's trunk.