May 14, 2021
Aventine, a non-profit research institute dedicated to covering the impact of significant technological advancements, recently featured Soft Robotics in an in-depth feature diving into the past, present, and future of robotics.
Our mGrip gripper technology is highlighted in the six-chapter feature as one of the innovative robotic systems ushering in a new era of automation. We’d like to thank Aventine for recognizing our ongoing efforts to revolutionize the way robotics are incorporated into manufacturing, packaging, and other related fields.
Here is a brief excerpt from the piece, The Next Generation of Robots is Here:
“That’s a mess of stuff right there,” said Mark Chiappetta, pointing to a bin piled two feet deep that looked like a haul from a manic spree through Walmart: bags of Tide Pods, a box of pencils, mascara sticks and lipstick tubes in their packaging, dish towels and even a couple of rubber ducks.
Over it loomed a robot, busy at work. As Chiappetta watched, it reached down into the bin, grabbed an item, lifted it out, dropped it into another container six feet away, then started the whole process again. The body of the robot was pretty standard — thick steel with an arm that can bend at what looks like an elbow joint. It’s the hand — or the gripper, as it’s known –– that’s peculiar. This particular gripper is the invention of Chiappetta’s firm, Soft Robotics: four, thick fingers made of bright blue inflatable rubber. As they opened and closed, jiggling slightly each time, they looked vaguely like octopus tentacles. They neatly grabbed a rubber duck by its head, then went back to nab a dish towel.
It’s unusual to make grippers out of inflatable rubber like this. Historically, robot grippers have been made of more rigid materials like metal or hard rubber because for decades, robots have mostly been used in heavy industry, like car and electronics assembly. Those traditional grippers aren’t great at picking up everyday objects, though, the way a human can. Chiappetta, Soft Robotics C.O.O., is part of a new generation of roboticists trying to fix that –– creating robots designed to be used for shipping and packing products in fields ranging from e-commerce to food preparation.
> Read full article here.