Grasping Without Squeezing: Design and Modeling of Shear-Activated Grippers

Elliot Wright Hawkes, Hao Jiang, David L. Christensen, Amy K. Han, Mark R. Cutkosky
2018 IEEE Transactions on robotics  
Grasping objects that are too large to envelop is traditionally achieved using friction that is activated by squeezing. We present a family of shear-activated grippers that can grasp such objects without the need to squeeze. When a shear force is applied to the gecko-inspired material in our grippers, adhesion is turned on; this adhesion in turn results in adhesion-controlled friction, a friction force that depends on adhesion rather than a squeezing normal force. Removal of the shear force
more » ... inates adhesion, allowing easy release of an object. A compliant shearactivated gripper without active sensing and control can use the same light touch to lift objects that are soft, brittle, fragile, light, or very heavy. We present three grippers, the first two designed for curved objects, and the third for nearly any shape. Simple models describe the grasping process, and empirical results verify the models. The grippers are demonstrated on objects with a variety of shapes, materials, sizes, and weights.
doi:10.1109/tro.2017.2776312 fatcat:g5s66fc4rneqdhyj7cjletvmqq