Soft inflatable robotic grippers with fibrillar adhesives

Loading Physical Intelligence Department

Objectives:

The goal of this research is to develop a novel controllable and reversible microfibrillar adhesion mechanism which enables pick-and-place manipulation for nonplanar 3D objects. The most of previous researches on controllable adhesion mechanism using microfibrillar adhesives have been limited on planar surfaces, since those fibrillar adhesives are formed onto a rigid backing and have no ability to conform to nonplanar geometries. Integrated with a soft and deformable thin backing layer, the microfibrillar adhesives can achieve a larger contact area than those on the rigid backing, while a stretch of the soft backing can effectively detach the microfibers in contact down to a single fiber-tip contact independent on the object’s geometries.

 

Project Members:

Sukho Song

Selected Research Results and Papers

GeckoGripper: A soft, inflatable robotic gripper using gecko-inspired elastomer microfiber adhesives

This paper proposes GeckoGripper, a novel soft, inflatable gripper based on the controllable adhesion mechanism of gecko-inspired microfiber adhesives, to pick-and-place complex and fragile non-planar or planar parts serially or in parallel. Unlike previous fibrillar structures that use peel angle to control the manipulation of parts, we developed an elastomer microfiber adhesive that is fabricated on a soft, flexible membrane, increasing the adaptability to non-planar three-dimensional (3D) geometries and controllability in adhesion. The adhesive switching ratio (the ratio between the maximum and minimum adhesive forces) of the developed gripper was measured to be around 204, which is superior to previous works based on peel angle-based release control methods. Adhesion control mechanisms based on the stretch of the membrane and superior adaptability to non-planar 3D geometries enable the microfibers to pick-and-place various 3D parts as shown in demonstrations.

Sukho Song; Majidi, C.; Sitti, M., "GeckoGripper: A soft, inflatable robotic gripper using gecko-inspired elastomer micro-fiber adhesives", Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2014), 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, pp.4624 - 4629, 2014

List of Publications

Soft Grippers Using Micro‐Fibrillar Adhesives for Transfer Printing

S Song, M Sitti

Advanced Materials 26 (28), 4901-4906, 2014.

 

 

GeckoGripper: A soft, inflatable robotic gripper using gecko-inspired elastomer micro-fiber adhesives

S Song, C Majidi, M Sitti

Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2014), 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference

 

 

Funding Agency

National Science Foundation

(NSF)