- Published in: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)
Gripper adaptability to handle objects of different shape and size brings high flexibility to manipulation. Gripping flat, round, or narrow objects poses challenges to even the most sophisticated robotic grippers. Among various gripper technologies, the vacuum suction grippers provide design simplicity, yet versatility at low cost, however, their application is limited to their fixed shape and size. Here, we present an origami-inspired reconfigurable suction gripper to address adaptability with robotic suction grippers. Constructed from rigid and soft components and driven by compact shape memory alloy actuators, the gripper can effectively self-fold into three shape modes to pick large and small flat, narrow cylindrical, triangular and spherical objects. The 10-g few centimeters gripper, lifts loads up to 5 N, 50 times its weight. We also present an under-actuated prototype, demonstrating the versatility of our design and actuation methods.