Researchers make jib with ‘feeling’ for fragile materials

Feb

3

2016

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have built a robot that is capable of using electro-adhesion to lift breakable objects. By use of electro-adhesion, the robot can pick up things without the need to pre-programmed what it is.

The robot is therefore able to pick up an egg without any problems, for example, as is apparent from the research. The robot does this to be connected by the use of electro-adhesion, in which two surfaces by means of electric fields with each other. If there exists tension between the electrodes, the electrodes in the gentle bend arm to the object and the arm can pick up the gently, regardless of the shape.

According to researcher Jun Shin Take, it is to be combined for the first time that electro-adhesion and ‘sensitive’ robotics. Gripping arms usually make use of pneumatics or they are not able to pick up fragile objects without being pre-programmed. He anticipates that the technology can be used in drones. Co-Researcher Herbert Shea says: “We imagine that it can be used in art hands for a robot, in the food industry or even in the space, in order to catch debris.”

The electrode flaps consist of five layers. If the voltage is turned off, it causes difference in the thickness of the outer layers ensure that the flaps curling outward. When the voltage is turned on, the attraction between the two layers of electrodes causes the membranes are straightened. It does this something that is similar to the tensioning of muscles. At the ends of the flaps are electrodes which are designed for optimum electrostatic grip.

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