Thursday , March 30 2023

The “robot trunk” lifts objects. See what he can do


We can see the “octopus robot”. Scientists plan to incorporate new inventions into robotic arms.

Australian scientists have expanded various robots inspired by nature. They have developed a kind of soft robotic gripper or “robot trunk” that can hold objects tightly.

According to the authors, the device has a wide range of potential for use in a variety of industries where delicate or fragile objects must be handled, ranging from agriculture and food, scientific research, rescue work, and care for the elderly.

The findings were published in the scientific journal Advanced Materials Technologies.

It will be better

There are many soft robotic gunners available today. However, it usually lacks sensory feedback (not enough to sense and control pressure) and the ability to adjust stiffness and flexibility.

This limits its use on delicate or fragile objects or indoors.

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“Most of these soft robotic grips resemble human hands with multiple inwardly curved fingers. Because of this, they are not suitable for grabbing irregular shapes, heavy or huge objects, or objects smaller or larger than the catch hole,” says research. Leader Thanh Nho Do says.

He decided to overcome these limitations with his colleagues at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. So he was inspired by nature.

From python to elephant

“Animals such as elephants, pythons, or octopuses use a soft, continuous structure that grows in their body to hold them and stabilize them,” says Thanh Nho Do.

They use a very sensitive palpable organ with thousands of muscle powers that are not limited in motion by hard bones. “Thanks to this body, it’s easy to inspect, capture and manipulate objects,” he adds.

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“The elephant’s torso, for example, makes up 40,000 muscles. We wanted to mimic this ability. Finally, holding and manipulating objects represents the essential motor skills of many robots,” said Do. Say.

Inspired by tentacles and torso, Australian researchers have developed a thin, flat, and lightweight device to hold and hold objects.

According to Doa, the new gunner has an improved real-time pressure sensor that is 15 times more sensitive than the old alternative. The clamping force is recorded to prevent damage to the object being handled.

“Our technology can capture long and thin objects and lift them in tight confined spaces, as well as the handles of kettles,” says the researcher.

New robotic gunner test footage.

Photo gallery

New robotic gunner test footage.

Zdroj: UNSW Engineering

Another advantage of the “robot gripper” is its thermal activation mechanism, which changes its ripping device from fixed to flexible and vice versa. This allows you to grab and hold objects of various shapes and weights, up to 220 times heavier than the weight of a robot gripper.

Coming soon?

According to the creators, the method is simple and expandable, so it can be manufactured in a variety of sizes.

In addition, Thanh Nho Do expects the facility to be commercially available in the next 12 to 16 months if his team can find a strategic partner in the industry.

“We are now focusing on developing the control algorithm and optimizing the integration material to integrate the gripper into the robotic arm,” says Do.

Australian researchers added that they are also working on integrating the device with haptic gloves. The scientist concludes, “You can feel the tactile sensation of holding objects at the same time the user controls the gunner remotely.

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