A Robot Hand Can “Grab Tofu” Using Load Sensing Technology

A Robot Hand Can “Grab Tofu” Using Load Sensing Technology

Latest Update September 13, 2023
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Japan develops a robot hand capable of gentle grip, including tofu handling, with load sensing technology

14 August 2023 - Ogura Clutch Japan continues its stride in developing cutting-edge products for the robot market. Sample shipments of the ROBO HAND and TOOL CHANGER are slated to commence by year-end. Concurrently, they are expediting the commercialization of the service life prediction system, complementing the expansion of the non-excitation brake "MCNB" series.

The ROBO HAND offers a selection of 2-claw and 3-claw variants, providing gripping forces ranging from 1.5 to 15 Newtons for 2 jaws, and 35 to 350 Newtons for 3 jaws. It can grip from either the inner or outer diameter and seamlessly integrates with robots manufactured by various companies through plug-and-play functionality. The electromagnetically driven tool changer ensures a secure coupling, even in the event of power loss.

This robot hand employs load sensing technology via a torque sensor, enabling users to set desired gripping forces and delicately handle a wide array of workpieces. Its finesse extends to a level akin to being able to “grab tofu,” as emphasized by Tetsuya Sonobe, Executive Officer and Deputy General Manager of the Technology Headquarters.

The sensor's development stemmed from the application of technology honed in tension control devices like carbon fiber. 

The brake models are available in “slip-resistant low-wear,” “hollow shafts,” “non-backlash,” and “ultra-compact” versions. Slip resistance allows manual operation if required. Hollow shafts boast an industry-leading hollowness ratio of 56%. Both models have witnessed a surge in orders for collaborative robots (Cobots). Non-backlash is employed in precision-demanding medical applications, while ultra-compact is tailored for multi-fingered joints. These models are pivotal components in various next-generation robots.

The life expectancy prediction system is slated for practical implementation in 2024. It monitors multiple brakes in real-time, enabling proactive replacement before wear exceeds acceptable thresholds. Executive Officer Sonobe emphasized, “By deploying this system, we can gather crucial data from the robot hand. We aspire to propose innovative applications and information utilization, leveraging it as a cornerstone for value creation.”


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