The loop gripper : a soft gripper for honeycomb materials
Procedia Manufacturing 55 (C): 160-167 (2021)
Contribution to Conference
Honeycomb materials are widely used as core layers of sandwich panels in the packaging, furniture, aviation, and space industry. To fulfill the varying requirements of the different applications, a wide range of materials, cell geometries, and cell sizes is used. In combination with comparably low stiffness, fragile cell walls, and large dimensions, the various properties make the automated gripping of honeycomb panels challenging. In this paper, a new concept for a soft gripper, based on adjustable threads, providing the flexibility and sensitivity needed for gripping honeycomb materials, is presented. Based on analysis and preliminary tests, a prototype is designed and built. A series of tests is performed to determine the optimal gripping parameters for different honeycomb materials, as well as to quantify the gripping force. The tests show the suitability of the concept for automated gripping of a wide variety of honeycomb types.