Self-forcing Mechanism of the Braided Tube as a Robotic Gripper

[+] Author and Article Information
Zufeng Shang

China/Tianjin city/Tinajin University Tianjin, 300350 China szf_rai@tju.edu.cn

Jiayao Ma

School of Mechanical Engineering Tianjin, 300350 China jiayao.ma@tju.edu.cn

Jinhua Li

School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University No.135 Yaguan Road, Haihe Education Park, Tianjin, 300350 Tianjin, 300350 China lijinhua@tju.edu.cn

Zemin Zhang

China/Tianjin city/Tinajin University Tianjin, 300350 China zmzhang0526@tju.edu.cn

Guokai Zhang

Room 216, School of Mechanical Engineering Tianjin University Tianjin, 300072 China zhang_gk@tju.edu.cn

Shuxin Wang

92 Weijin Road Nankai District Tianjin, 300072 China shuxinw@tju.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received October 1, 2018; final manuscript received April 17, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Robert J. Wood.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043686 History: Received October 01, 2018; Accepted April 25, 2019


Gripper, which acts as the end effector and contacts the objects directly, has great effects on the robotic performance. Braided tube is a kind of structure with great deployability. In this paper, we find that the braided tube exerts excellent self-forcing mechanism, for which the holding force is enhanced with the increase of the load/object weight. The mechanism together with the deployability facilitates grasping objects with different shapes, weights, and rigidities of the braided tube as a robotic gripper. Taking a cylindrical object as an example, the self-forcing mechanism is theoretically analyzed, and explicit formulas are established to estimate the holding force range. Experimental and numerical analyses are also conducted for a more detailed understanding of the mechanism. The results show that a 1.2 times holding force increment of the tested gripper is obtained for the self-forcing, and the holding force can be further improved with a suitable parameter selection. In addition, a braided gripper is fabricated and mounted on the KUKA robot arm, and successfully grasps the fragile and the deformable objects. All these show the great promise of the braided tube as the robotic gripper.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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