New robot hand called the "Adaptive Gripper" from Robotiq (Canadian robotics startup)

Robotiq Adaptive Gripper

Robotiq is a new Canadian startup spun-out of the Laval University Robotics Lab and founded by Samuel Bouchard, Vincent Duchaine and Jean-Philippe Jobin.  Their first product is a very cool looking three-fingered robot hand called the "Adaptive Gripper."  It is comprised of three under-actuated fingers, two of which can change their position and orientation to support a variety of grasp configurations -- very similar in principle to the Barrett Hand and Schunk SDH Hand.  The Adaptive Gripper's prominent finger linkages lead to a rather beautiful mechanical motion, as seen in the grasping videos (below).  I would imagine the mechanical linkages also offer additional robustness compared to under-actuated cable-driven competitors and cost advantages over fully-actuated competitors.  Unfortunately, its price is still an unknown -- perhaps someone attending ICRA 2010 in Alaska can stop by their booth and inquire...?

First up, a number of higher-resolution pictures (and a spec sheet), then on to a number of videos.

Robotiq robot hand called "Adaptive Gripper" with under-actuated fingers  Robotiq robot hand called "Adaptive Gripper" with under-actuated fingers

Robotiq robot hand called "Adaptive Gripper" with under-actuated fingers  Robotiq robot hand called "Adaptive Gripper" with under-actuated fingers



General presentation:

 

Handling everyday objects:

 

Handling fruits and vegetables:

 

One of the neat things about this product is the pretty clear evolution of the design at the  Laval University Robotics Lab (specifically, the work on under-actuated grasping: here, here, and here).  The Adaptive Gripper appears to be a direct descendant of the SARAH Hand, pictured below.

SARAH Robot Gripper -- A Robotiq Adaptive Gripper Prototype

 

The three-fingered design of the Robotiq Adaptive Gripper (below left) reminds me of the Barrett Hand (below middle) and Schunk SDH hand (below right).

Robotiq Adaptive Gripper robot hand  Barrett Robot Hand     Schunk SDH Robot Hand

 

I am a bit skeptical about the apparent lack of sensing on the Adaptive Gripper.  Too much sensing is always preferable to none at all (at least you can throw away data).  I'd probably request the following:

  • Contact (force) sensing on the fingertips.
  • Infrared (IR) sensing in the palm, though force sensing is probably preferable.
  • 6-axis forces and torques at the base of each individual finger.  Presumably motor current can serve as a crude proxy for a subset of these values.
  • Finger position, particularly the position of the fingertips.
  • 6-axis forces and torques at the wrist.  Granted, a F/T sensor can always be bolted on between the end-effector and arm.

 

Still, I'm intrigued.  Robotiq has a number of upcoming appearances ICRA 2010 booth, Robotic Summit Virtual Conference, and the 2010 Intl Workshop on Underactuated Grasping.  I'd really appreciate someone reporting back expected pricing.

 

 

Comments

Hi Travis,

thanks for the article. It's nice that you did some research and brought the SARAH material. The gripper is indeed SARAH's little brother. SARAH was intended at space applications (on the ISS), while we are targeting more down-to-Earth tasks.

Those lucky enough to be at ICRA this week will have the opportunity to compare our gripper to the Barrett hand, the Schunk SDH (and I guess their SAH) as well as Meka's hand. I'll let people make their mind on what's best for their application. Our price should not be a huge advantage at this point as we are just entering production. Our goal was to make something very versatile, yet very simple to use / integrate.

We provide feedback on grasp state (object grasped or not), but not on the magnitude of the forces/torques at different points. Our point is that "Too much sensing" can be costly and also a source of failure. Question to you: What application do you have in mind that would need all this  sensory data?

Samuel

Thanks for the article. This is a nice design that looks like it could feasibly enter the consumer market (i.e. hobbyist robotics) at some point. 

I'll be curious to see if they make a scaled down version or if this will remain only for high-end commercial applications.

It sure beats out most other mass-market grippers! 

Thanks for the video and article. The best place where I see using such hand robots is the high risk prone areas which also need manual intervention at a critical point. Good one !
Prabhu

A RobotShop blog post published today shows two RobotIQ Adaptive Grippers being used by the Yaskawa Motoman Dual Arm (SDA10) Robot.  This is the first time I've seen the RobotIQ gripper in use on a full industrial arm, and it looks great! 

RobotIQ Adaptive Gripper on Motoman Robot RobotIQ Adaptive Gripper on Motoman Robot

I still have no word about general pricing or availability, but I'll put in another inquiry to see if there is any public information yet.

—Travis Deyle

hello, can you mail me the sketch and dimentions of adaptive gripper please?

 

—shayan

Hi Shayan,

Unfortunately, I do not possess this documentation.  You should contact RobotIQ directly: http://robotiq.com/

—Travis Deyle

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