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Interchangeable Tooling for Robots

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000046525D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Rigbey, LJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

In the course of assembly using a robot it is often necessary to change the tool held by the robot gripper for another selected from a family of interchangeable tools. Where the operation of the tools relies, as in the present case, on its connection to a vacuum source or supply of air pressure, care must be taken to prevent the air and vacuum hoses connected to the various tools from becoming entangled with each other as the tools are interchanged. By supplying the air and vacuum hoses to the gripper and making connections from the gripper to each individual tool as it is picked up, this requirement is obviated. All the tools available for use during the course of assembly are provided with a common cylindrical body portion 1, as shown in the figure.

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Interchangeable Tooling for Robots

In the course of assembly using a robot it is often necessary to change the tool held by the robot gripper for another selected from a family of interchangeable tools. Where the operation of the tools relies, as in the present case, on its connection to a vacuum source or supply of air pressure, care must be taken to prevent the air and vacuum hoses connected to the various tools from becoming entangled with each other as the tools are interchanged. By supplying the air and vacuum hoses to the gripper and making connections from the gripper to each individual tool as it is picked up, this requirement is obviated. All the tools available for use during the course of assembly are provided with a common cylindrical body portion 1, as shown in the figure. The gripper fingers 2 and 3 have shaped portions which cooperate with the cylindrical body portion and its flange 4 to grip and accurately align the tool. As part of this alignment process, a bar 5 on gripper 3 is brought into firm contact with a flat surface 6 on flange 4. Vacuum and air hoses 7 and 8 are connected to fittings extending through gripper finger 3 and bar 5 to carry the supplies permanently. Each individual tool is provided with two ports 9 and 10 which become aligned with the inlet holes in bar 5 when the tool is held in place by the gripper fingers.

Sealing of the supply is achieved by means of flexible seals surrounding the ports which can deform to allow sealing...