To know if you need robot grippers, you have to know what they are and understand the potential for using them.
The idea of a robotic arm is to function like a human arm. The design of robotic arms includes an elbow and wrist for flexibility and a hand for picking up and manoeuvring stuff. The hand is the robot gripper, sometimes called manipulators or end-effectors.
Do you need them? Now that is a question only you can answer. However, as automation increases, so does the need for specific robotic arms and grippers. Designing them depends on the size and intricacy of the item being moved or selected.
Robotic arms do many repetitive jobs without tiring. Moreover, they can do this at a faster speed than human hands are capable of
—significantly improving your turnover. Letting robots or cobots do this work also releases workers to focus on more technical or intricate work suited to human skill sets. Jobs like programming robotic arms. A robotic arm and the right gripper can safely handle dangerous or repetitious work.
Types Of Robot Grippers & Their Uses
Using robotic grippers is where the flexibility of using robotic arms for jobs comes in. Unlike a human arm and hand, you can attach robot grippers to suit the job you need to do. Due to the sheer number of objects a robotic gripper can handle, it is not surprising to learn that there are many different types of grippers.
You can get the grippers styled as hands with fingers, which offers a high level of dexterity. This would be useful when handling dangerous or contagious samples. You can also find large suction-like cups as a gripper. These bulky grippers are more useful in warehouses for packaging or stacking pallets. For softer or delicate items, like foodstuff, a softer, smaller gripper would be useful.
Robotic Grippers & Sensors
Some grippers come equipped with sensors. This means you could set up a robotic arm to make random selections for quality control. For example, the arm and correct gripper can select items from a conveyor for inspection. Then, when the check is complete, return the item to the conveyor belt.
Robotic gripper hands generally come with two or three fingers or a jaw-like style. These particular grippers can include a force sensor—by which you can select the level of force used to pick something up. So, ensuring delicate objects like test tubes are not damaged, shattered or broken. Unfortunately not something we can program into human hands.
Adaptable & Flexible To Suit Many Businesses
The uses for robotic arms and grippers are growing; they can be found in laboratories, virus control, building cars, and packing parcels of every sort, from eggs to scent, large or small. They can gently pick microgreens and delicate fruits for packing. They can place lids on hundreds or thousands of bottles and jars.
So, do you need robotic grippers? If you are using robotic arms, yes, you will. If you want to improve your production lines and the safe handling of dangerous items, you definitely need them. But, if you are still unsure how they will benefit your business or industry, talk to the experts. They know their products and can advise which would be the best robotic arm and robotic gripper for you.