RBR50 company Soft Robotics Inc. yesterday announced that its mGrip modular gripping system is now available through FANUC’s global distribution network. FANUC is the world’s largest industrial robot manufacturer, so this partnership offers an opportunity to accelerate adoption of soft robotic grippers.
The mGrip system enables users to set up their own configurations of the grippers based on need. Previously, Soft Robotics would create custom grippers for its users. The company’s soft robotic fingers handle a wide variety of objects in terms of shapes, rigidity, and fragility without requiring multiple and potentially expensive sensors. The grippers are used in highly variable industries such as consumer goods manufacturing, food processing and packaging, and e-commerce supply chain.
The partnership also enables users of to directly program and integrate Soft Robotics’ technology with FANUC’s robots.
“When combined with FANUC’s global reach in robotics, we will be able to offer end users and system integrators a single, powerful and agile automation solution to address the unique needs of underserved markets,” stated Soft Robotics CEO Carl Vause.
FANUC and Soft Robotics will demonstrate their partnership at iRex 2019 in Japan using the new Fanuc DR-3iB Delta robot, which is designed for picking and packing primary and secondary food products. The Robot Report saw a similar demo of the technology at PACK Expo 2019 (see video below).
— The Robot Report (@therobotreport) September 24, 2019
In September, Soft Robotics added smaller fingers to the mGrip system for picking in tight spaces.
“From its earliest days at Harvard, Soft Robotics’ potential to fundamentally transform industrial automation was obvious,” said Carmichael Roberts, founder and managing partner of material impact and chairman of the board of Soft Robotics. “The partnership with FANUC will expand on the profound impact this technology is having across industries and geographies, making it the new gold standard in robotic automation.”