An innovative, lubricant-based friction reduction system improves robotic dexterity in both wet and dry conditions.
The system, from a team at Kanazawa University, was inspired by the way some people will moisten their fingertips to open plastic shopping bags or turn pages, using the moisture to increase friction. With that in mind, the team developed a robotic fingertip etched with slits that can be injected with a lubricant. According to the team, the key advantage of the system is that it can control surface friction without altering the surface’s deformability or adaptability, allowing it to be used on soft robotics.
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