Catepillar-inspired Buckling Gripper
we propose a structurally simple and scalable underactuated mechanism. The mechanism is demonstrated on a gripping device called the “Buckling gripper.” The Buckling gripper achieves adaptive gripping on rugged, uneven, and undulating surfaces typically found in the natural world.
The key design principle of the Buckling gripper is inspired by a caterpillar’s proleg that highly deforms depending on the shape of the contact surface. This key principle is applied to the gripper via flexural buckling. Normally, buckling is avoided in mechanical designs, but the buckling behavior of a flexure with an adequately selected length provides wide gripping range with a narrow range of force variation, which provides a sufficient number of contacts with even contact forces. As a result, the Buckling gripper achieves adaptive gripping on various surfaces, similar to a caterpillar.
Related papers and patents
Gwang-Pil Jung, Je-Sung Koh, and Kyu-Jin Cho, “Underactuated Adaptive Gripper using Flexural Buckling”, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 29, No. 6, pp. 1396-1407, Dec. 2013. [PDF]
Gwang-Pil Jung, Useok Jeong, Je-Sung Koh and Kyu-Jin Cho, “The Development of a Scalable Underactuated Gripper based on Flexural Buckling”, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pp. 2077, 2013. [PDF]
Gwang-Pil Jung, Je-Sung Koh and Kyou-Jin Cho, “Meso-scale compliant gripper inspired by caterpillar’s proleg”, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 1831–1836, 2011. [PDF]