Nobody likes a clumsy robot arm that drops almost every glass or object. Well, scientists have discovered a solution: they invented a soft grip that is similar to gecko’s sticky toes.
This way, robots will have a better grip when they lift different objects, making them more adaptable to new chores and more efficient.
The researchers at the University of California San Diego in the US who are behind the soft grip invention have tested the gripper. The robotic gripper was able to lift over 29 kg of weight and could easily grasp different objects.
With geckos being the best climbers on Earth, the new gripping mechanism borrowed the ability of the geckos’ toes and added it to their robotic grips. Now, it can lift a lot of materials and grasp them too.
Soft Robotics and Gecko Adhesives Work Better Together
The Stanford University and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, US have previously used a material that was inspired by the geckos’ toes, but they only used the gripping mechanism to flat surfaces.
Now, scientists are using these adhesive to robotic grips. Ph.D. student at UC San Diego, Paul Glick, said:
“We realized that these two components, soft robotics, and gecko adhesives, complement each other really well.”
According to our source, the researchers at the UC San Diego started preparing the gripper with gecko toes and using soft robotics. They coated the robotic gripper with the gecko adhesive and watched it how it started easily lifting pipes, mugs, rocks and different other objects. Moreover, the robotic gripper was able to grab and lift objects from different positions and angles.
The gripper was easily grabbing and lifting porous, rough or even dirty objects. Using only soft robotics or only gecko-adhesives, rough objects were not easy to lift. But both combined (soft robotics and the adhesives), were successful in completing the experiment.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.