Robotic gripper displays soft touch with a twist

Robotic gripper displays soft touch with a twist

How many Robots does it take to change a lightbulb – just one thanks to Engineers in San Diego.

A team of Engineers from the University of California San Diego have created the new gripper design which allows for multiple degrees of movement when air pressure is applied.

We designed the device to mimic what happens when you reach into your pocket and feel for your keysMichael T Tolley, a roboticist at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering

Each of its three fingers is covered with a smart skin made of silicone rubber. The skin is slipped over the flexible fingers and uses conducting carbon nanotubes to ‘sense’ when the fingers are moving and coming into contact with an object just like real skin.

The engineers were able to test the gripper on an industrial Fetch Robotics robot. The team showed it could pick up and manipulate a wide range of objects – from light bulbs to screwdrivers.

Next step? The team want to use machine learning to allow the gripper to id the objects it is handling.

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