the field of systems of grasping for robots, “grippers”, is the subject of many innovations in recent years. Various systems appeared to give robots the ability to manipulate heavier objects as the lighter, more resistant as the most fragile. EPFL researchers propose a flexible electrode-blades-based system. A device, very light, seems rather fragile but he still manages to grab an egg without releasing or break it. His secret? The electro-adherence.
Flexible pliers consist of artificial muscles coupled electrostatic energy
Jun Shintake, PhD student at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) has created a rather original robotic gripper. It consists of two flexible electrodes blades coming literally stick to the object that the robot must seize. The researcher recalls works like that of muscle able to contract on an electrical impulse through the five layers: a layer of pré-étirée elastomer and silicone of different thicknesses that wraps and unfolds, as the electrode is powered or not. This amazing device is coupled to the electrostatic effect which allows him to grab a sheet of paper or an egg, very fragile objects. this effect allows you to enter an object without risk of damage regardless of its form, unlike the traditional clamps which the form must be adapted to the subject-matter. A flexible clamp of this type would be able to lift up to 100 times its own weight.
This flexible electronics could have applications in the food industry to take fragile greengrocers, for example. It could also be implemented on prostheses and, why not, to catch debris in space.
Translation : Bing Translator
Source: “of robotics to capture smooth finger’, EPFL press release, February 1, 2016