Robotics & Automation News

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Flexiv Robotics unveils gecko-inspired gripper and automated cleaning station

Flexiv, a developer of general-purpose robotics solutions, has improved its Grav Enhanced gecko-inspired gripper so that it can now be “quickly and effortlessly cleaned via the fully automated Cleaning Station”.

This powerful combination of gripper and cleaner provides the Grav Enhanced not only the ability to lift practically any object weighing up to 5 kg, but also a way of maintaining the gripper’s effectiveness even when manipulating objects covered with surface contaminants like dirt and dust.

Providing a truly general-purpose handling capacity, the Grav Enhanced and the Cleaning Station are set to significantly boost lifting efficiency and expand the utility of Flexiv’s adaptive robots across multiple sectors.

Inspired by a geckos foot pad, the Grav Enhanced Gripper represents a significant advancement in robotic manipulation technology.

With the ability to lift almost any object, be it oddly shaped or malleable, using a combination of two-finger pinching and a super friction material, the gripper ensures a secure, residue-free grip and can handle everything from basketballs and boxes to soft toys and sneakers.

Ideal for mixed SKU pallet loading, the Grav Enhanced uses adaptive force sensing to ensure an optimal grip force is maintained, while the super friction material provides enhanced grip stability and versatile object handling.

This unique combination eliminates the need for complex pneumatic vacuum pumps and the necessity of end-of-arm tool changes.

Further building on the Grav Enhanced’s capabilities, the newly introduced Cleaning Station automatically maintains the gripper’s adhesive material, so it always operates at peak performance.

This is especially crucial in environments where exposure to particulates could diminish the gripper’s lifting efficiency.

Hao Jiang, Flexiv’s director of product development, highlighted the synergy between the Grav Enhanced Gripper and the Automated Cleaning Station: “By packaging the Grav Enhanced Gripper with the Automated Cleaning Station, we’ve increased the efficiency of our gripper and massively expanded its utility. This is a game-changer for businesses looking to manipulate a diverse array of objects.”

Using standard adhesive tape in combination with a silicone roller, the super friction material is cleaned similarly to how a lint roller removes fluff from clothes.

With a complete cleaning cycle taking less than five seconds, the Grav Enhanced and the Cleaning Station are ideal for industrial environments that require maximum uptime.

Compact and fully automatic, the Cleaning Station doesn’t require proprietary equipment and can maximize a user’s ROI by routinely scheduling cleaning periods to reduce robotic downtime.

If the Grav Enhanced Gripper encounters a particularly contaminated item and the super friction material becomes compromised, a Rizon Robot can detect the loss of grip strength through a combination of force sensing and AI, and then automatically activate the Cleaning Station.

Flexiv’s latest innovation sets a new benchmark in the competitive landscape of robotic handling solutions, underlining the company’s commitment to staying ahead with versatile, efficient, and highly adaptable solutions.

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