Purple Robotics first caught our attention at Automatica 2018 for its innovative PR10 vacuum gripper that doesn’t use external compressed air. The company caught the attention of OnRobot, too. It acquired Purple Robotics in August 2018 and rebranded the PR10 as the VG10.
OnRobot is now introducing the VGC10, a smaller, lighter version that is about half the size of the VG10. The VGC10 weighs 0.814kg (1.79 lb), while the VG10 weighs 1.62kg (3.57 lb). The dimensions of the VGC10 are 101 x 100 x 100 (mm) vs the 105 x 390 x 390 dimensions of the VG10. According to OnRobot, the VGC10 maintains the same 15kg payload (35 lb) as the VG10.
Like the VG10, the VGC10 features an internal air supply with an airflow that is self-contained. It also offers two individual vacuum channels that can simultaneously use different suction power and lost grip detection. The gripper can be used with a single air channel. It is also highly customizable, with various interchangeable suction cup options and the ability to add or replace arms to fit specific needs. Both the VG10 and VGC10 are IP54 rated to operate in harsh conditions.
“We heard from customers that they loved the features of the VC10 gripper but sometimes needed a more configurable, compact version, so we delivered,” said OnRobot CEO Enrico Krog Iversen.
According to OnRobot’s website, the VGC10 is compatible with robots from Doosan Robotics, FANUC, Hanwha, Kawasaki Robotics, KUKA, Nachi, TechMan Robot, Universal Robots, and Yaskawa.
OnRobot in September released a full line of grippers and sensors with a unified mechanical and communications interface. It said this allows for plug-and-play tool changes, as well as easier programming across multiple production lines and applications.
Odense, Denmark-based OnRobot was formed in 2018 from the merger of On Robot, OptoForce, and Perception Robotics. It later acquired Purple Robotics and raised more funding. In April 2019, OnRobot acquired Blue Workforce A/S, which filed for bankruptcy. Blue Workforce designed robots for agricultural and food processing applications.
“We saw an obvious opportunity to expand our product portfolio with some unique technologies and competencies within soft gripping and vision technologies, i.e., solutions that can handle delicate items and foods without damaging them, as well as camera-based solutions for inspection on production lines,” Iversen said at the time. “We expect very quickly to be able to create new OnRobot products with ingredients from the inventions we’ve bought.”