Padded Robot Fingers
Original Publication Date: 1987-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
One challenge of robotics is to pick up an object 10 with irregularly shaped or hard-to-grasp surfaces. An arrangement to grasp irregularly shaped or hard-to-hold surfaces with a robot is shown in Figs. 1 and 2. By using a finger surface that molds around the object, the robot can adapt to these hard-to-hold surfaces. The moldable finger-padding 11 is a textured polymer sack holding a viscous fluid, attached to a metal skeleton 12, as shown in Fig. 1. One method of operation features sealed sacks containing a fixed mass of fluid. The skeletal frame compresses the sack around the object to be manipulated. The compressed fluid then molds the sack around the contours of the object. An alternative method is to have a variable mass of fluid in the sack.