The coanda gripper
Automatic handling of porous and soft materials The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is actively seeking companies to license an exciting novel gripping technology for robotic applications. The Coanda gripper opens new opportunities and enables increased quality and cost reduction by realising the possibilities for automatic handling of soft and porous materials such as leather and textiles without damage.
APPLICATIONS The coanda gripper is ideal for automatic handling of soft, limp or porous materials. The Coanda gripper: Prototype (Photo: Jan Christian Sørlie/ Spot foto)
• Grasps porous, limp and soft materials without inflicting damage.
• Also handles food articles such as meat and fish.
• Is easy to adjust the lifting force and thereby control the number of lifted sheets from a pile, by adjusting the air stream.
• Can handle materials with large variations in size because of several independent contact points between device and grasped sheet
• Is designed to grasp materials from narrow storage shelves.
• Has low maintenance expenses and production costs due to relatively simple mechanics (the gripper could be produced in one piece of e.g. aluminium or polymers.)
• Is easy to clean and disinfect, e.g. by steaming, which makes it suitable for handling food articles. Coanda gripper: Handling a textile (Photo: Jan Christian Sørlie/ Spot foto)
THE TECHNOLOGY The gripper is based on the Coanda effect, which is the tendency of a stream of fluid to stay attached to a convex surface, rather than follow a straight line in its original direction. By sending air over a convex surface one will achieve a flow change which results in a local negative pressure. Due to this negative pressure the materials are lifted with a force dependent on the original flow velocity.
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