The Hybrid-Driven Origami Gripper Robot

A research team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University created a novel hybrid-driven origami gripper that can grasp and manipulate objects with precision. Applications will include robotic systems in manufacturing and healthcare. Their work is published in Cyborg Bionic Systems.

The gripper uses a combination of pneumatic and cable-driven mechanisms to control an origami-inspired structure, enabling adjustable finger stiffness and variable finger lengths. The gripper handles a wide variety of objects by altering its physical characteristics for the application at hand. The gripper’s fingers, made from thermoplastic urethanes-coated fabric and discrete thin metal sheets, combine the flexibility of soft materials with the precision and strength of rigid components.

Scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University have unveiled a novel hybrid-driven origami gripper, designed to tackle the challenge of grasping and manipulating objects with unprecedented versatility and precision.
CREDIT: Zhuang Zhang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

It can securely grasp diverse materials without causing damage and adjust the length and stiffness of its fingers dynamically. The gripper can change its grasp to accommodate objects of different sizes and weights, an important feature when a variety of objects need to be handled sequentially or in environments where space and adaptability are crucial.

There are three independently controlled cables for each finger, which can pull synchronously for uniform motion or differentially for complex, multidirectional movement.

Extensive testing shows that the gripper could effectively adjust its gripping force and finger configuration to handle objects ranging from thin fabric pieces to large, heavy footballs.

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