With automation increasing all industries, the need for new adaptive grippers for the use in complex and dynamic environments is increasing. Handling fruit can be a complicated task due to the natural variations in shape and size of each fruit, in addition for the task of automated harvesting the complexity of the task and potential for error is increased.
Using printed tendon driven fingers and a mechanism that connects them together, a simple yet effective adaptive gripper has been developed. The mechanism only requires one pneumatic actuator, the mechanism connecting the tendons adapts to the shape and size of the object and contact pressure can easily be controlled by regulating the operating pressure. Many iterations of this gripper have been developed, tested and validated for the application of apple picking, with the aim of maximising grasping workspace to account for any errors in the robotic system or variance between fruits.
Personnel - Mr Keenan Granland (PhD student)