“Computational design of passive grippers” by Kodnongbua, Good, Lou, Lipton and Schulz

  • ©Milin Kodnongbua, Ian Good, Yu Lou, Jeffrey Lipton, and Adriana Schulz




    Computational design of passive grippers



    This work proposes a novel generative design tool for passive grippers—robot end effectors that have no additional actuation and instead leverage the existing degrees of freedom in a robotic arm to perform grasping tasks. Passive grippers are used because they offer interesting trade-offs between cost and capabilities. However, existing designs are limited in the types of shapes that can be grasped. This work proposes to use rapid-manufacturing and design optimization to expand the space of shapes that can be passively grasped. Our novel generative design algorithm takes in an object and its positioning with respect to a robotic arm and generates a 3D printable passive gripper that can stably pick the object up. To achieve this, we address the key challenge of jointly optimizing the shape and the insert trajectory to ensure a passively stable grasp. We evaluate our method on a testing suite of 22 objects (23 experiments), all of which were evaluated with physical experiments to bridge the virtual-to-real gap. Code and data are at https://homes.cs.washington.edu/~milink/passive-gripper/


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