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Fail-Safe Gripper for Automated Handling Equipment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037179D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Boyette, J: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A technique is described whereby a gripper mechanism is used in robotic automated handling applications to provide fail safe carrier operation, whereby its payload cannot be dropped even when commanded to do so.

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Fail-Safe Gripper for Automated Handling Equipment

A technique is described whereby a gripper mechanism is used in robotic automated handling applications to provide fail safe carrier operation, whereby its payload cannot be dropped even when commanded to do so.

The fail-safe gripper is designed to lift carriers which contain parts being moved for automated handling. Housing 10, as shown in Fig. 1, of the gripper's top view, contains actuating fingers 11. Fig. 2 illustrates the side view operation of the gripper. In Fig. 2A, fingers 11 are in an unlatched position, such that when the gripper is lowered into container 12, fingers 11 will clear hole 13 provided in the container. The fingers II are extended outward as shown in Fig. 2B. The gripper is then lifted so the fingers engage onto the carrier's lip, as shown in Fig. 2C, for the lifting position.

(Image Omitted)

It is significant to note that the robotic air cylinder, which actuates the fingers, is sized so that it cannot provide enough force to lift the weight of the carrier if it is actuated while the carrier is in the engaged position. In this way, while the carrier is not supported, it cannot be dropped even if the air cylinder is accidentally actuated by noise on the lines, a software error, manually or through a hardware failure.

When the carrier is to be released from the gripper, the sequence is followed in reverse. The carrier is placed on a supporting surface and lifted up and off of the fingers. Th...