After searching for solutions for a long time and trying out a couple of the existing grippers, I came to the conclusion that there is a need for a reasonably priced electric gripper. Moreover, all grippers on the market are relatively small for common tasks, such as a gripping a bottle for example. For this particular task I needed something capable of gripping 90mm width and 1.5kg heavy bottles, most grippers, even the ones who cost 3000€+ can’t do that. The cheapest one capable of gripping such a payload was the EZgripper, but as underactuated gripper it has its own flaws.
This is why I started to work on a new gripper, the AR (Alex Rössler) Gripper. How hard can it be?
It turned out parallel grippers are relatively simple devices. The key part is a so-called smart servo. Luckily, I found a vendor with very strong and reasonably priced smart servos.
The rest of the gripper parts can be parametrized and 3D printed. Total hardware cost ~150-200€. However, the gripper fingers and sled might be better manufactured out of metal. I had several made out of Colorfabb Carbon XT material break.
Everything is nicely integrated with ROS of course. URDF files, gripper driver and simulation dummy.
Does this sound like something the ROS/robotics community is interested in?
Pictures and videos will follow.
PS: I wasn’t sure if this is the right category.