Browse Prior Art Database

Gripper Assembly for a Robot

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000042770D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 67K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Appenzeller, HA: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This assembly enables a robot to load and unload glass masks and masks carriers for photolithographic equipment. The assembly handles masks and mask carriers with greater precision and less damage than a human operator functioning in a critical area where body heat and contamination cause problems. The unique features in the assembly include (1) the ability to protect the masks from damage if interference is encountered in any direction or plane of rotation, (2) sensitivity adjustment to ensure that minimum force will stop the robot in case of interference, and (3) positive feedback indicating that the mask is fully engaged and square to the assembly. In Fig. 1, a robot head 1 is connected to a gripper assembly 3 which includes a support housing 4, pancake cylinder actuators 6 and gripper fingers 8.

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Gripper Assembly for a Robot

This assembly enables a robot to load and unload glass masks and masks carriers for photolithographic equipment. The assembly handles masks and mask carriers with greater precision and less damage than a human operator functioning in a critical area where body heat and contamination cause problems. The unique features in the assembly include (1) the ability to protect the masks from damage if interference is encountered in any direction or plane of rotation,
(2) sensitivity adjustment to ensure that minimum force will stop the robot in case of interference, and (3) positive feedback indicating that the mask is fully engaged and square to the assembly. In Fig. 1, a robot head 1 is connected to a gripper assembly 3 which includes a support housing 4, pancake cylinder actuators 6 and gripper fingers 8. A hinged plate 7 cooperates with a sole plate 11 to open and close the gripper fingers 8. A top view of the assembly is shown in Fig. 2. Included in the housing 4 are three switches 14 mounted 120OE apart. The switches 14 are adapted to stop the robot in case the mask encounters interference in any direction 0/, Y-Y, X- X, or Z. A set of shoulder screws 20 limits the movement of the hinged plate 7. The general operation of the gripper assembly will be described in conjunction with Figs. 2 and 3. To grip a mask 5, the fingers 8 are opened by actuating cylinders 6. Air is applied to the cylinders 6, and a piston 15 is forced down which causes spacer bushing 9 to move against sole plate 11, lifting the plate 7 thereby opening fingers 8. The sole plate 11 and upper plate 7 are kept closed by means of a screw 10 which passes through the hollow piston rod 15 and captivates clamp spring 15'. When air is released from the cylinder 6, the clamp springs 15' close grippers 8 which hold the mask 5. This normally closed mode is used to prevent dropping a mask in the event o...