Need an extra hand? A robotic gripper will be fine for you. In fact, it might even be better than a human hand. From heavy industrial work to gripping and displacing numerous small objects at a very fast rate, a robotic gripper does wonders with heavy-duty tasks.
What is a robotic gripper and how does it work?
Usually made of metal, robotic gripper is a mechanical device that is built to act like a human arm, only that it is more durable and a lot stronger. It can be driven hydraulically, electrically and pneumatically. It is also made to withstand stress. While the human arm has limits as to how much work it can do, a robotic gripper can work for hours on end, as long as its joints work properly and it isn't put under too much stresses. There are three types of robot grippers according to how their respective grips are made, namely the clamp, air hand and vacuum.
The clamp, like the name implies, is usually made in a scissors, pincers, or hooks structure. It acts like a human hand, in that the item to be gripped or manipulated is placed between two contracting extrusions, clamping down and trapping the item between them. This structure is excellent for handling lightweight materials like plastic toys or lumps of irregularly-shaped material like rock or metal.
The air hand presses an expanding dense rubber material to the hollow interior of a material to pull it away. It works like placing an un-inflated balloon in a cup, then inflating the balloon until it expands and is tight against the surface of the cup. That way, the object is also pulled upward as the rubber is lifted. As implied, this type of robotic gripper is most suitable for large objects with hollow interiors such as cups, tubes and barrels.
The third type, the vacuum is best when used on large flat objects such as sheets of glass and plywood. It employs the use of suction cups to force the object to stick to it. The robotic arm maneuvers above the object and sticks one or more suction cups and activates a powerful suction force that moves inwards to keep a firm grasp on the object. This design requires significantly less power than the previous two, but it can be risky since misaligned suction cups fail to produce an airtight seal.
There are also two types where the jaws of a robotic gripper can be made. One is the friction type, where the jaws rely totally on the force of the gripper to squeeze and do all the work to hold the part. The second one is the encompassing one, which is more forceful than the first type. It adds stability and power by cradling the part.
Who would want the aid of a robotic gripper?
Manufacturing plants such as toy factories, bottled drink manufacturers and construction supply factories would very much appreciate the use of a robotic gripper, since it provides a more efficient alternative to manpower. A robotic gripper, as mentioned, does not have limits when it comes to usage as long as it's not put under overly-massive stresses.
Where can I get a robotic gripper?
RobotWorx is very efficient at selecting and designing a custom robotic gripper. You may visit their website at robots.com or contact their technical support department at 740-383-8383.
What are the risks of using a robotic gripper?
While using the aid of a robotic gripper assures less manpower requirement, running a robotic gripper still needs expertise. Inexperienced workers should not operate a robotic gripper to reduce risk of accidents. Workers assigned to operation of a robotic gripper have to know precisely all the measures and processes to let the device work smoothly and safely.
As mentioned, a robotic gripper must not be put under excessively massive stresses, or else it will most likely break.
It is also important to note that the different types of robotic gripper must only be used on objects they work well with. For example, clamps should never be used on glass or metal sheets because the clamp would not be able to grip the sheets like they should be. In the same manner, there is absolutely no way an air hand would be able to hold a solid toy without a hollow interior.
Robots are meant to help humans with daily activities like transportation or even housekeeping. But they are more required in heavy industry, where manpower can either be exhaustible or inadequate. With a robot gripper, the sky's the limit for what you can do.