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Smart gripper

Designed for human/robot collaboration

Two members of the Co-act gripper family by Schunk are optionally equipped with CAN interfaces. Recently, the product series received the Hermes award.

The EGN model of the Co-act gripper family is designed to handle heavy work-pieces (Photo: Schunk)

Under the brand name "Co-act" (collaborative actuator), Schunk presented its gripper for future human/robot collaboration already at the Automatica 2016 show. This year, the product received the Hermes Award. For the first time in the history of this award a gripping module was the winner of this trophy. At the Hannover Fair, Schunk presented them for the first time in live applications.

The models, EGN and WSG, provide optionally CAN interfaces. The higher-layer protocol is proprietary, but can be adapted to customer requirements. CANopen is not yet available, but can be provided on request. The gripper is suitable for collaborating robots on the factory floor as well as for service robots interacting with human beings. The EGN model is intended for automotive production. It could be used for collaborative assembly of heavy work-pieces. The WSG model fits to handle work-pieces in “dangerous” areas, e.g. in conjunction with x-ray machines for quality insurance.

The aluminum housing of the WSG model enables applications with radiation, e.g. x-ray machines (Photo: Schunk)

The Co-act grippers are actuators with several sensor functions. Adjustments to the gripping processes can be made in real-time using diverse sensor systems. In essence, various “senses” are used to record, evaluate, and communicate situational, environmental, and operational conditions. There are capacitive sensors and cameras integrated, for example.

The grippers can be used in combination with the company’s ECM controller and the ECS safety modules providing several safety functions (SLS, SOS, and STO). They are designed to meet the requirements for human-robot collaboration: never losing the grip of an object, always detecting contact with humans, and never causing injuries when gripping.


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