Soft Gripper Driven by a Solenoid Actuator

Date created: 
Soft robotic gripper
Polymer membrane
Delicate objects gripper
Variable-volume chamber
Flexible silicone membrane
Magnetic gripper

In the past thirty years, robotics technology has become well-established in the manufacturing industry for reducing worker ergonomic stress and workload by performing operations such as picking and placing objects from a location to another, quickly, repetitively, and accurately. As we continue to integrate robots as versatile aids for industry, it is important to develop mechanisms that facilitate seamless cooperation between humans and robot assistants (RAs). Contributions of this thesis include the design and development of a more advanced, yet simple and cost-effective soft industrial robotic gripper that is scalable, and can be mounted on a wide range of commonly used robotic arms. The finished gripper prototype uses inexpensive components, and thus, would be economical to produce while addressing the needs of industry. Depending on the application, the developed gripper can outperform the state of the art in many “pick and place” tasks and is capable of picking up a wide variety of objects in size, weight, geometry and texture. To be applicable to current industrial warehouse environments, a series of tests were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the gripper in picking up and placing a set of items commonly available. The developed gripper in this work was mounted on a KUKA arm, and was tested for gripping objects from delicate ones such as a light bulb to heavier ones such as a 23 cm x 14 cm x 12 cm pack of eight cans of soda, weighing around 3 kg with a measured speed of 0.88 m/s.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Carlo Menon
Applied Sciences: School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.