Expanding on previous designs, this study reports on a variable-stiffness soft gripper with an added silicone coating for increased friction, and an EGaIn soft sensor for monitoring the strength of grip forces. The variable-stiffness structure used in this study was constructed by connecting soft structures to rigid structures, using tendons fixed to the rigid structures. Unlike conventional methods, a more responsive EGaIn soft sensor was designed in this study, by adding bumps to the path traced by the alloy. Three types of fingertips were manufactured to optimize the sensor’s response in the soft-gripper architecture. Following the selection of a suitable fingertip shape, changes in the output of the EGaIn soft sensor, corresponding to the object held by the soft-gripper, were observed, confirming the device’s ability to vary its stiffness as appropriate.
Related papers and patents
Geun-Sik Cho, and Yong-Jai Park, "Soft Gripper with EGaIn Soft Sensor for Detecting Grasp Status," Applied Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 15, Art. No 6957, July 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11156957