Artificial muscles help robot vacuum manipulators get a grip

The robot grippers designed by Professor Stefan Seelecke and his team at Saarland University can grip and manipulate objects with complex geometries. The system can adapt almost instantaneously to changes in form, switching seamlessly between differently shaped parts. The articulated gripper is driven electrically, is lightweight and accelerates rapidly and is even able to tell whether it is holding the object securely enough. The ultrafine nickel-titanium wires that control the motion of the four fingers of the prototype can rapidly generate and release a powerful vacuum via suction cups located on the fingertips of the artificial hand. The engineers will be showcasing the potential of their technology at Hannover Messe (30 May—2 June, Hall 2, Stand B28).

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