The Right Gripper for the Kuka Lightweight Robot (LWR)
Posted on Jun 05, 2012 9:25 AM. 3 min read time
The Kuka lightweight robot is innovative in many aspects. Its low weight and capability to detect external forces applied on it makes it the first robot of its kind to be safe enough to surround humans in their workspace. This capability has the potential to bring robotics into a new era, enabling many novel applications in various fields. However, a robot arm is nothing without a good end-effector and luckily for the LWR, our 3-Finger Adaptive Gripper has everything to be its perfect match!
The Fraunhofer IFF lightweight robot offering candies to the crowd at Automatica 2012
Examples of Successful Integration
Presently, several institutions have a LWR equipped with a Robotiq Adaptive Gripper. For example, the Fraunhofer IFF (shown in the picture above) uses it as an industrial mobile manipulator; Kuka Labs has one on an OmniRob, another mobile platform; Université Laval's Robotics Laboratory has one for a research project on human-robot collaboration; Tecnalia recently acquired a Gripper for one of their Lightweight robots. The increasing popularity of the Kuka LWR / Robotiq Adaptive Gripper match is a sign that these versatile devices are well suited for each other.
Reasons for Being a Good Fit
One reason for which our Gripper is a great addition to the Kuka LWR is its intrinsic adaptability. Indeed, the LWR, due to its safety features, like its ability to detect external forces, is well suited for applications in which the robot evolves in an uncontrolled environment. These types of environments naturally require the ability to grip variously shaped objects.
Another reason is the payload for the robot which is 7kg. The 3-Finger Adaptive Gripper weights 2.3kg and has a recommended payload of 3kg for the fingertip grip and 10kg for the encompassing grip. These payloads synchronize well, so that the LWR equipped with the Adaptive Gripper is effective for gripping objects with different weights.
In addition to this, the Adaptive Gripper is rugged and able to withstand a high number of cycles with low maintenance, which makes it a flexible Gripper that is very robust and not fragile or prone to breakdown.
Ease of Integration of the Gripper on the LWR
- The mechanical integration of the Gripper is simple as an adapter plate specifically designed for the Kuka LWR can be ordered as an option with the Gripper.
- The electrical interface can use the cables passing through the robot arm or an external cable provided by us.
- The communication protocols used by the LWR (EtherCAT or DeviceNet, depending on the controller options) are part of the six communication protocols available with the Gripper.