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Gecko Gripper utilizing NASA-created tech launches commercially

ZDNet

A robotic gripper inspired by the adhesive properties of gecko hands will soon be adorning robots around the world. We've written about OnRobot's Gecko Gripper before, but its commercial availability this year highlights the growing competition and dazzling science coming out of the niche market for "robot hands." The Gecko Gripper uses millions of "micro-scaled fibrillar stalks," which stick to smooth surfaces using van der Waals forces, which is the mechanism geckos use to climb. The gripper grew out of a Stanford research project that inspired work at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. NASA was exploring van der Waals forces as an effective way to capture orbiting satellites for salvage or repair.


A new robotic gripper inspired by geckos and pioneered by NASA ZDNet

#artificialintelligence

Hands are hot items in the world of robots. That's one of the biggest trends out of the Automatica conference, one of the world's premiere showcases of robot technology, which recently wrapped up in Germany. Among this year's dexterous, grippy offerings is a robotic end effector inspired by a gecko's fingers. Also: Robots with soft hands will transform the world. Geckos can scale vertical and inverted surfaces thanks to microscopic flaps on their feet.


A new robotic gripper inspired by geckos and pioneered by NASA

ZDNet

Hands are hot items in the world of robots. That's one of the biggest trends out of the Automatica conference, one of the world's premiere showcases of robot technology, which recently wrapped up in Germany. Among this year's dexterous, grippy offerings is a robotic end effector inspired by a gecko's fingers. Geckos can scale vertical and inverted surfaces thanks to microscopic flaps on their feet. The flaps form molecular bonds with the surfaces of objects, and the weak intermolecular forces create adhesion.


Robots Getting a Grip on General Manipulation

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

This is a guest post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of IEEE Spectrum or the IEEE. While robots have prepared entire breakfasts since 1961, general manipulation in the real world is arguably an even more complex problem than autonomous driving. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why, though. Closely watching the 1961 video suggests that a two-finger parallel gripper is good enough for a variety of tasks, and that it is only perception and encoded common sense that prevents a robot from performing such feats in the real world.


Robots Are Learning to Handle With Care

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

In August, the Bethlehem, Pa., candy maker will begin installing at its factory 16 robots with squishy blue "fingers" that can pick up and hold the pillowy Peeps without bruising them. "We needed something like the human hand," says Brent Edsoren, senior project engineer at Just Born. Robots with pliant, dexterous--and fast--appendages are gaining popularity as companies in retail, food handling and agriculture move toward more automation. Fragile, malleable products that vary in shape and size, such as fruits and vegetables, suffer at the hands of conventional robots, in part because machines lack the highly tuned sensory feedback that humans have at their fingertips. Robotic dexterity is a difficult and not yet fully solved problem, analysts say.