Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 31

Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Soft Robotic Gripper Based on Twining Plants
The robot firmly but gently grasps objects as small as 1 millimeter in diameter.
University of Georgia, Athens
S
cientists often look to nature for cues
when designing robots - some robots
mimic human hands while others simulate
the actions of octopus arms or inchworms.
Now, researchers have de signed a soft
robotic gripper that draws inspiration
from an unusual source: pole beans. While
pole beans and other twining plants use
their touch-sensitive shoots to wrap themselves
around supports like ropes and rods
to grow upward, the new robot is designed
to firmly but gently grasp objects as small
as 1 millimeter in diameter.
The soft robotic spiral gripper offers
several advantages over existing robotic
de vices. The robot's twining action only
re quires a single pneumatic control,
which greatly simplifies its operation by
eliminating the need for complex coordination
between multiple pneumatic controls.
With the twining motion, the soft
robotic gripper works well in confined
areas and needs only a small operational
space. A fiber optic sensor is embedded
in the middle of the robot's elastic spine
that can sense the twining angle, the
physical parameters of the target, and any
external disturbances that might cause
the target to come loose.
The researchers believe the gripper - a
little more than 3 inches long and fashioned
from silicone - could be useful in
(a)
(b)
(c)
(a) Illustration of the twining motion in a twining plant; (b) soft spiral gripper before actuation; (c)
actuated soft spiral gripper holding a flower.
many settings including agriculture, medicine,
and research. Applications might
include selecting and packaging agricultural
products like plants and flowers that
require a soft touch, surgical robotics, or
selecting and holding re search samples in
fragile glass tubes during experiments.
The spiral gripper proved effective in
gripping objects such as pencils and
paintbrushes - even an item as small as
the thin wire of a straightened paperclip.
The device also demonstrated excellent
re peatability, high twining sensing accuracy,
and precise external disturbance
detection.
The team plans to continue its work
with an eye on improving the automatic
feedback control based on the readings of
the fiber optic sensor. They also want to
explore miniaturizing the design to serve
as the foundation of a biomedical robot.
For more information, contact Michael
Terrazas at michael.terrazas@uga.edu;
706-542-5941.
Shape Memory Alloy Tubular Structure
Applications include vehicle and aircraft tires, sports helmets, military equipment, and
seals and couplings.
John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio
nnovators at NASA Glenn developed a
next-generation, non-pneumatic, compliant
tire structure based on shape
memory alloy (SMA) elements. This new
structure builds upon previous work
related to airless tires designed for rov -
ers used in planetary exploration.
The use of SMAs capable of undergoing
high strain as load-bearing components
results in a tubular structure that
can withstand excessive deformation withI
Tech
Briefs, August 2021
Cov
out permanent damage. These structures
can perform similarly to traditional pneumatic
tires but with no risk of puncture or
loss of tire pressure. The new technology
is an extension of previous non-pneumatic
metal-mesh tire designs developed at
Glenn but with a structural pattern that
improves manufacturability and offers
design flexibility for customization.
The technology utilizes SMA structural
elements (wires and springs) interwww.techbriefs.com
ToC
locked
via a unique layering pattern, al -
lowing the structure to take on tubular
geometries while exhibiting the same
ride performance as traditional tires.
Though previous tires have used SMA
elements as load-carrying members, this
new design offers an improved structural
pattern consisting of two layers of
SMA elements. The primary layer is a
single wire shape set into a coil and
wrapped circumferentially around a
31
http://www.techbriefs.com http://www.abpi.net/ntbpdfclicks/l.php?202108MDNAV

Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 4
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 5
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 6
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 7
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 8
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 9
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 10
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 11
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 12
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 13
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 14
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 15
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 16
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 17
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 18
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 19
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 20
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 21
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 22
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 23
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 24
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 25
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 26
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 27
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 28
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 29
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 30
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 31
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 32
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 33
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 34
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 35
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 36
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 37
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 38
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 39
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 40
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 41
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 42
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 43
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 44
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 45
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 46
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 47
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 48
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 49
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 50
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 51
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 52
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 53
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 54
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 55
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 56
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 57
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 58
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 59
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 60
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov4
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-4
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-5
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-6
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-7
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-8
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-9
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-10
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-11
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-12
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-13
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-14
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-15
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-16
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-17
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-18
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-19
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-20
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-21
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-22
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-23
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-24
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-25
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-26
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-27
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-28
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-29
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-30
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-31
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-32
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-33
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-34
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-35
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-36
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-37
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-38
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-39
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-40
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov4
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB07
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB06
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB05-P
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB05-D
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB04
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB03
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB02
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/22TB01
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB12
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB11
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB10
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB09
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB08
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB07
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB06
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB05
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB04
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21BT03
https://www.nxtbook.com/smg/techbriefs/21TB02
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com