The Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials said on Thursday its research team has developed a robot hand capable of handling everyday jobs as delicate as holding a fragile tofu. The robot hand or gripper designed to mimic the structure and the motion of human fingers can be applied to many areas including cooking, meal serving and product packaging.
The institute released two types of grippers developed by the team led by Park Chan-hoon, head of the institute’s robot mechatronics research unit.
The clamp type gripper has a soft and fluffy tactile surface that can be transformed to fit the object as delicate as a tofu. After grabbing the object, the gripper surface remains firm, providing a sense of stability.
The suction type gripper also changes the shape of its distal end to fit the surface of an object when grabbing it like the tip of an elephant’s nose, making it possible to carry various objects with severe surface curvature placed in a narrow space.
The existing gripper has a fixed shape and can handle only a few objects, but the new gripper can hold various objects by changing its tactile surface to match the shape of objects, said Park, adding this can be widely used in the untact service market.
By Park Yoon-gyun and Minu Kim
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