BEDFORD, Mass. — One challenge for developers and users of collaborative robots and end effectors is managing a nest of power and control cables and hydraulic or pneumatic supplies. To address this, Soft Robotics Inc. today unveiled its new coDrive technology. The company said the modular system enables its patented mGrip soft gripper kits to work with cobot arms without needing tethered pressurized air.
As collaborative robots become increasingly mobile, they require a gripping system that is as easy to deploy and use. Soft Robotics said its adaptive grasping systems are proven globally in demanding production environments, such as food handling.
coDrive “cuts the pneumatic cord” and allows mGrip to be deployed where the customer needs it, untethering the soft grippers for a variety of applications such as pick and place, packaging, and machine tending, said Soft Robotics. Cobot users can now bring mGrip adaptive technology to their applications with the ease and portability of traditional electrical grippers, it added.
“Our customers are deploying collaborative robots in an agile infrastructure, but to do so, they require a gripping solution that enables their agile manufacturing strategy and removes barriers that traditional grasping technologies present,” stated Carl Vause, CEO of Soft Robotics. “We designed coDrive with this in mind to power our proven mGrip technology in our new Cobot Kits, allowing customers to deploy or re-deploy their collaborative robotic solution anywhere and with ease, enabling flexibility in their supply chain and manufacturing operations.”
coDrive compatible with UR arms
The first iteration of coDrive is designed for plug-and-play capability with arms from cobot leader Universal Robots and has a UR+ certification. The controller tucks away into the UR cabinet and includes URCap software for easy programming via a teach pendant.
Enabling untethered mGrip applications was the inspiration for coDrive, said Soft Robotics. Users can simply install the mGrip system and set the grip pressure and release timing. They are able to immediately start picking in the manufacturing location of their choice, no longer dictated by the proximity of house air.
“We are excited by the new mGrip Cobot Kits from Soft Robotics that we see filling a gap in the collaborative market,” said Joe Campbell, senior manager of strategic marketing and application development at Universal Robots.” These kits are truly designed with our customers in mind and are sure to enable quick deployment and a quick ROI.”
Soft Robotics and Universal Robots will host a webinar on Nov. 14, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern to preview the mGrip Cobot Kits with the new coDrive technology. To register, visit http://bit.ly/