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MIT engineers use 3D printing to build origami-inspired object grippers

Engineers at MIT's Computer and Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have used 3D printing to build a robotic device suitable for a variety of objects.

The results of the research were published in an article entitled A Vacuum Origami Softgripper "Magic Ball".

Robert Wood, co-author of the newspaper and professor at the Wyss Institute for Biological Inspired Engineering, said: "One of the key features of this approach to manipulator design is its simplicity."

"The materials and manufacturing strategies used enable us to Quickly develop new grippers that adapt to the object or environment as needed. "

  The origami-inspired gripper holds an apple. Image via MIT
The origami-inspired gripper holds an apple MIT

Origami Magic Globe

In robotics research, 3D printing is a competent method for testing prototypes and producing fully functional devices, examples of recent research in the fields of soft robotics, modular robots, and robotics The bio-inspired robotic hand of the Wyss Institute to study the fauna has pushed this point.

Die junggs Research results are based on the team's earlier concept of Fluid-driven Origami-inspired Artificial Muscle (FOAM). The FOAM consists of an airtight skin and a deformable skeletal structure, which contracts under negative pressure.

The newly created gripper "magic ball" works on the same principle as FOAM and is inspired by the Origami Magic Ball. The magic ball gripper is smaller and has an enlarged skin constriction, which increases the grip force.

  An origami magic ball. Image via YouTube.
An origami magic ball. Image via YouTube.

A little help, please

Three different prototypes of the "magic ball" with different material and different dimensions were produced. With the Stratasys Fortus 400, the research team printed 3D forms in ABS to cast the gripper. Two of the grippers were molded of silicone rubber and one of PET / PVC / Kapton composite and TPU-coated nylon.

Co-author of the research and MIT professor Daniela Rus talked about their vision of the future for such robots. Rus said, "One of my moon shots is to create a robot that automatically packs food."

Shuguang Li, a joint postdoctoral fellow at MIT CSAIL and Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), further elaborates, "Companies like Amazon and JD want a wider choice of delicate or irregularly shaped objects but not with finger and suction cup grippers. " […] "Suction Cups I can not handle holes – and they would need something more powerful than a soft finger-based gripper."

  3D die-castings for forming the origami gripper. Image above MIT.
3D Die Casting to form the Origami Gripper Image via MIT

Grab All

The grippers were mounted on a Baxter industrial robot and tested with 3D printed objects mounted on an Instron machine The weight of the object itself was insignificant for the study of stress, tension and pressure.

Objects ranging from fruits such as grapes, mushrooms and cola bottles were raised with the magic ball gripper

Rus explained, "Previous approaches to the packaging problem could only handle very limited classes of objects – objects that are very light or objects that have shapes like boxes and cardboard These are cylinders, but with the Magic Ball gripper system, we've shown that we can do pick-and-place tasks for a variety of items, from wine bottles to broccoli to grapes and eggs. "

" In other words, objects are heavy and objects that are light. Objects that are delicate or sturdy, or that have a regular or free form. "

The research discussed in this article is titled "A Vacuum-Driven Origami" Magic-Ball "Soft-Gripper, published in the Proceedings of the International IEEE Conference on Robotics 2019 The authors of this work are Shuguang Li, John J. Stampfli, Helen J. Xu, Elian Malkin, Evelin Villegas Diaz, Daniela Rus, Robert J. Wood.

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The image above shows the # 39; Magic Ball & # 39; claw holding an apple. Image about MIT.

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