An under-actuated origami gripper with adjustable stiffness joints for multiple grasp modes

Under-actuated robots offer multiple degrees of freedom without much added complexity to the actuation and control. Utilizing adjustable stiffness joints in these robots allows us to control their stable configurations and their mode of interaction with the environment. In this paper, we present the design of tendon-driven robotic origami (robogami) joints with adjustable stiffness. The proposed designs allow us to place joints along any direction in the plane of the robot and in the normal direction to the plane. The layer-by-layer manufacturing of robogamis facilitates the design and manufacturing of robots with different arrangement of joints for different applications. We use thermally activated shape memory polymer to control the joint stiffness. The manufacturing of the polymer layer is compatible with the layer-by-layer manufacturing process of the robogamis which results in scalable and customizable robots. To demonstrate, we prototyped an under-actuated gripper with three fingers and only one input actuation. The grasp mode of the gripper is set by adjusting the configuration of the locked joints and modulating the stiffness of the active joints. We present a model to estimate the configuration and the contact forces of the gripper at different settings that will assist us in design and control of future generation of under-actuated robogamis.

Published in:
Smart Materials and Structures

Note: The status of this file is: EPFL only

 Record created 2017-03-21, last modified 2018-12-03

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