With the MultiChoiceGripper, the opposing thumb of the human hand serves as inspiration: Like its natural role model, the future concept combines different types of gripping. Its fingers can be switched in such a way that they grip either parallel or centrically – without the need for conversion.
A simple deflection is used as the kinematics for changing the gripping direction. A push-pull rod transfers the force to the holders of the two rotating finger elements. These change the finger position accordingly: Either all fingers point to a centre or two fingers can be arranged next to each other, while the third finger opposes them and fulfils the function of the thumb, enabling parallel gripping. A mechanical locking system, which is pneumatically operated, fixes the finger elements in their respective end positions.
But the MultiChoiceGripper is not only variable in the gripping direction. The adaptive fingers with Fin Ray® structure adapt flexibly to a wide variety of shapes. Like the fish fin, the structure does not bend away when pressure is applied at the side, but instead wraps around the pressure point. This allows the MultiChoiceGripper to grip objects with different shapes, and even very sensitive objects, without additional sensors or control technology.
In addition to the Fin Ray® fingers, two other finger types can be placed on the MultiChoiceGripper. Depending on requirements, between two and six finger elements can be attached to the modular gripper.
An application is conceivable wherever many different objects are gripped – for example in auxiliary robotics, assembly tasks or in production plants in which different products are manufactured. Until now, robots and industrial robot gantries often had to be equipped with different grippers. With the technology of the MultiChoiceGripper this step would be omitted.
Easy changeover: The mechanical change between parallel (left) and central gripping direction (right) saves a conversion of the gripper