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One Next-Step Advancement for Cobots: Specialized Grippers

Grippers and end-effectors developed specifically for collaborative robots represent new advancements in this type of robot technology.

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Schunk’s Co-act line of grippers is designed specifically for collaborative robots to prevent injury if the gripper unexpectedly comes in contact with a person.

Most collaborative robots (cobots) use sensor technology to detect when they unexpectedly contact an object, be it a person or something else. They then immediately stop their motion to prevent injury or damage.

One step demonstrating the maturing of this technology is the development of end effectors designed specifically for those types of “human-friendly” robots. For example, Schunk’s Co-act line of grippers and actuators uses technology to prevent possible injury while gripping or when encountering a person while providing sufficient force so as not to mishandle a workpiece. Gripping force limitation can be activated for certain applications. Plus, gripper software evaluates and processes signals from the device’s environmental sensors, in essence, providing the gripper with artificial intelligence capabilities.

This is important because in many instances, it’s not the contact with the robot that has the potential to cause injury, it’s the gripper or workpiece being held.

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