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Design of a novel dexterous robotic gripper for in-hand twisting and positioning within assembly automation

Fei Chen (Istitute Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy)
Luca Carbonari (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy)
Carlo Canali (Istitute Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy)
Mariapaola D'Imperio (Istitute Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy)
Ferdinando Cannella (Istitute Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 3 August 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to design a novel jaw gripper with human-sized anthropomorphic features to be suitable for precise in-hand posture transitions, such as twisting and re-positioning. The growing demand from traditional high-mix low-volume and new massive customized manufacturing industry requires the robot with configurability and flexibility. In the electronic manufacturing industry particularly, the design of the robotic hand with sufficient dexterity and configuration is important for the robot to accomplish the assembly task reliably and robustly. It is important for the robot to be able to grasp and manipulate a large number of assembly parts or tools.

Design/methodology/approach

In this research, a novel jaw-like gripper with human-sized anthropomorphic features is designed for online in-hand precise positioning and twisting. It retains the simplicity feature of traditional industrial grippers and dexterity features of dexterous robotic hands.

Findings

The gripper is able to apply suitable gripping force on assembly parts and performs reliable twisting movement within limited time to meet the industrial requirements. Manipulating several cylindrical assembly parts by robot, as an experimental case in this paper, is studied to evaluate its performance. The effectiveness of proposed gripper design and mechanical analysis is proved by the simulation and experimental results.

Originality/value

The main originality of this research is that a novel jaw gripper with human-sized anthropomorphic features is designed to be suitable for precise in-hand posture transitions, such as twisting and re-positioning. With this gripper, the robotic system will be sufficiently flexible to deal with various assembly tasks.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement number 285189 – AUTORECON.

Citation

Chen, F., Carbonari, L., Canali, C., D'Imperio, M. and Cannella, F. (2015), "Design of a novel dexterous robotic gripper for in-hand twisting and positioning within assembly automation", Assembly Automation, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 259-268. https://doi.org/10.1108/AA-05-2015-046

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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