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Closest to a human hand: researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed a robotic arm that can grasp any shape

The new arm with a fingerless gripper that is adapted to automatic production lines, can grip a variety of shapes and significantly reduce the costs of producing the parts

A robotic arm with varied lifting capabilities, developed at Ben Gurion University. PR photo
A robotic arm with varied lifting capabilities, developed at Ben Gurion University. PR photo

Researchers from Ben Gurion University of the Negev have developed a first-of-its-kind robotic arm capable of grasping in any shape, similar to the action of a human arm. The invention, unveiled by BGN Technologies - Ben-Gurion University's technology commercialization company, will allow grippers used in production lines to grip parts of different shapes in a way that will reduce production costs.

Automated production lines rely on robots to stably grip the manufactured parts. Due to the variety of shapes of the different parts, it is necessary to use different robotic end units, each of which is adapted to the special geometry of the manufactured part. Designing, manufacturing and assembling the different end grippers on each of the robots in the production line are expensive processes that take a lot of time.

Now, BGN Technologies, Ben-Gurion University's technology commercialization company, is introducing a new technology that allows a single end gripper to fit multiple purposes. The invention, developed by Prof. Amir Shapira and Dr. Avishai Sintov from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University, makes it possible to design fingerless grippers for assembly line robots, which will allow parts of different shapes to be gripped, thus reducing the costs of producing the parts, while increasing options The production of the production lines. The invention relies on a unique search algorithm that defines possible grip areas in the series of parts used in a given production line. The algorithm takes into account various parameters, such as the force required to grip the part firmly, and then defines a series of common grip points for all production parts used on the particular production line. In this way, the invention enables the design of a robotic arm that will fit all production parts.

Danny Steyer, Business Development, Exact Sciences and Engineering, BGN Technologies, said, "This seemingly simple solution is based on a sophisticated algorithm developed by Prof. Shapira and Dr. Sintov that can increase the efficiency and economic viability of production lines by reducing the need for multiple robotic arms, Speeding up the pace of production and even adapting existing production lines to other needs. After submitting a patent application to protect this invention, we are now looking for strategic partners to continue the development and commercialization of the technology."

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