With the collaborative robot market exploding, robotic grippers will be an area of growth and increasing competition. That was made abundantly clear at Automatica 2018 where new robotic grippers made quite a splash.
While market growth has an impact on the amount of innovation taking place, Lasse Kieffer, CEO and co-founder of Purple Robotics, said a shift in mindset is also leading to new robotic grippers.
“End users want a collaborative robot application. You can’t make that if only the robot is collaborative,” said Kieffer. “Everything in the system needs to be collaborative, including the gripper. Until now, everyone’s been focused solely on the robot being collaborative. This is the trend in the market, but ISO standardization is also going from looking at features on the robots to the grippers because they might come into contact with the people.”
While robotic grippers are improving, there’s still a long way to go before they scratch the surface of being anywhere near as capable as human hands. And one size doesn’t fit all. An exec from Daimler AG spoke about how Mercedez Benz has about 50 robots that require at least 500 different grippers to perform all their tasks.
Here is a recap of innovative robotic grippers The Robot Report encountered at Automatica 2018.