Everything at grips - grippers for robots

Handling objects is something most people take for granted. The great complexity that lies behind it becomes clear when we transfer similar movement patterns to machines in the processing industry. While our brain precisely controls our arms and hands without any noticeable effort and uses our eyes to form a picture of the environment, a robot needs a lot of technology to be able to recognize, grasp and move objects.

What are robot grippers?

There are four subdivisions of grippers, these mainly differ in the way they apply the gripping force to the workpiece: mechanical, vacuum-based, magnetic or adhesive

What types of gripper are there?

The gripper types differ mainly in the way they apply the gripping force to the handling object: mechanical, vacuum-based, magnetic or adhesive.

Mechanical grippers are widely used in robotics and are particularly common. In most cases, they are pneumatically driven, as this type of drive enables precise movement at lower cost. However, the need for electric grippers is also increasing, as they are both precise and very dynamic. Now and then, hydraulic systems are also used for large loads.

Vacuum-based grippers are particularly gentle and space-saving. They allow gripping from above, which enables gapless positioning of workpieces next to each other. The objects require a smooth surface so that air pick-up is possible and the gripper can stick to it.

In the case of magnetic grippers, a division is made between permanent and electromagnetic grippers. Because the permanent magnet gripper has permanent gripping force, the workpiece must be "taken" from the gripper. The electromagnetic gripper is supplied with electrical direct current, which provides the necessary magnetic field. The ferromagnetic workpieces are picked up and released by switching the power supply on and off.

Adhesive grippers are designed for sensitive and residue-free pick-up of materials. The technology is based on the principle of adhesion and uses intermolecular Van der Waals forces to ensure adhesion. The gripping surface of the grippers is covered with millions of microscopic hairs that develop shear adhesion when pressure is applied to a surface. Since the component-friendly adhesive technology does not require compressed air, vacuum or electricity, the effort required for implementation is comparatively low, but it must be noted that as soon as the adhesive gripper becomes dirty, the workpieces no longer adhere. To release the workpiece from the gripper, a rotating or tilting movement must be performed.


Are you interested in a customized robot system, but don't know exactly which grippers you need? No problem! In our detailed consultation, we support you throughout the entire process on the way to your individually customized robotic automation system. We are happy to be there for you.


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