Current electroadhesion (EA) grippers cannot be used to lift objects with limited contact areas. Current electromagnetic adhesion (MA) grippers cannot be used to grip non-ferrous materials. Here we combine EA and MA into a monolithic, electrically controllable, flexible, and hybrid Electro/Magneto-adhesive (E/MA), to offer EA grippers augmented with magnetoadhesion and MA grippers augmented with electroadhesion. This E/MA was achieved by exploiting two intertwined coplanar coils inspired by Tesla's flat bifilar coil. By appropriate electrical connections an electromagnetic field is generated - driving magnetic attraction - or an electric field is generated - delivering electroadhesion - or both fields can be generated simultaneously. As a result, the E/MA grippers can not only be used to lift ferrous and non-ferrous materials but also low-density objects such as office paper clips. We also present a customized capacitance measurement method to enable an autonomous material handling system without embedding external sensors. E/MA grippers have the potential to expand the capabilities and impact of soft robotics and industrial gripper systems.
- Tactile Action Perception
- Soft sensors and actuators
- grippers and other end-effectors
- exteroceptive sensing
- flexible electroadhesive gripper
- flexible electromagnetic gripper