Development of a highly accurate clamp at EPFL

The clamp technology developed by researchers is made ​​of rubber and electrodes blade sensitive and flexible, allowing it to seize fragile items.

EPFL researchers have developed a robotic gripper that can capture such sensitive items as paper or eggs.

To achieve this degree of precision, the prototype clings to matter by electrostatic forces.

The clamp is made of rubber and sensitive electrodes blade and flexible, allowing it to seize fragile objects of arbitrary shape and stiffness, says EPFL in a statement Monday. Thanks to his dexterity, the invention could soon handle food for the food industry, capturing debris in space, or even be incorporated into prosthetic hands.

The prototype developed by the EPFL scientists propels robotics “to a new level,” the statement said further. Typically, the grippers are controlled pneumatically

“This is the first time the electro-adhesion and soft robotics come together to grasp objects” precise Jun Shintake, PhD student at EPFL and lead author of the publication, published in Advanced Materials. NCCR Robotics funded the research.

Specifically, the electrodes adapt and cling to the shape of the object by the electrostatic forces, as if we rubbed a balloon on hair before it sticks to the wall. And these electrodes are rather big guy: they can carry 80 times their own weight. In addition, and unlike many pneumatic clamps, it is not necessary to describe them in advance the shape of the object to grasp. (Ats / nxp)


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