Automated gripper customization using rapid prototyping technology

The ability to rapidly introduce new components for assembly is an important concept in agile manufacturing. An agile workcell should therefore minimize the amount of downtime spent on retooling the system whenever components are introduced. In order to reduce the changeover time, a means for automatically generating gripper designs based on part geometry would be highly desirable. Such grippers should ideally be capable of handling multiple parts, and should be insensitive to uncertainties in the part positions.

This research project seeks to accomplish these goals through the use of rapid prototyping technology.

Conceptual illustrations of rapidly prototyped gripper fingers

A multipurpose gripper, designed to grasp multiple hydraulic components. The fingers were fabricated using the CAM-LEM rapid prototyping system.

Here are some papers describing this work in greater detail. The papers are in a gzipped PostScript format.

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Last update: 15 January 1997