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DOBOT SOFTGRIPPER

HOW THE NEXT GENERATION OF STUDENTS LEARNS AUTOMATION TODAY

A SoftGripper For The Highly Automated Classroom 😉

Every teacher knows how hard it is to teach technology at schools. Topics like informatics and robotics are quite new in schools and have only been explored in the recent couple of years. Teaching systems like LEGO Mindstorm and the Dobot systems are good plattforms today to start for tomorrow’s experts.

 

So meet our new custom SoftGripper brought to you directly from the field of industrial automation into the classroom: The Dobot Magician SoftGripper Kit.

 

If it works in high speed, high variability automation, it has to be the perfect solution for classroom automation, right? Let’s delve deeper on the topic!

Dobot Magician SoftGripper Kit

Grippers and control units make up the Dobot educational kits. Let’s explore every option!

SoftGrippers

There are two gripper models to choose from: A two finger parallel and three finger centric SoftGripper can be used with a the Dobot to grip a wide range of objects. 

 

As the standard Dobot gripper and suction cup, our SoftGripper is pneumatically actuated. When air pressure is applied, the gripper closes. Applying vacuum leads to spreading of the fingers.

 

What makes a SoftGripper so great for the educational environment is the the multifunctional and rugged design. Crashing the robot? Not a problem! Gripping lots and lots of objects? No problem as well!

Two and three jaw dobot gripper
Gripper
Connection
Controlbox

Controlbox Or Dobot Pump?

Regarding the controller, there are two options that can be used with a SoftGripper. The Dobot pump and a Controlbox by SoftGripping.

 

While the Dobot pump is surely sufficient for a simple demonstration in a classroom environment, the SoftGripping controlbox gives you a finer adjustment in terms of pressure applied by the fingers and finger closing speeds due to a more powerfull pump. 

 

Both are perfectly suited and easy to set up. They are directly plugged into the robot and programmed using simple sequence blocks in Dobot Studio or the Dobot API using python.  

dobot magician softgrippers
Control
Adjustment
Pump
Previous
Next

What can a softGripper help with in School?

First exposure to automation is always special. Therefore should be much fun and every pupil has to have the feeling of holding a powerful technology in his hands. So let’s have a look on a few videos to understand the quality of improvements a SoftGripper brings to the education process.

Range of objects

First and most important: The range of objects that can be handled with one simple gripper. A gripper that resembles human fingers is so much better at gripping than a simple steel claw. Just take a look at the video! All those objects can be handled by one gripper:

Keep in mind that the gripper can be spread to get around even bigger objects!

Foods

Not all grippers are suitable to do every task. Most grippers are not designed with fragile objects in mind. A high gripping force is great, but take a look on objects like strawberries or chips. Not that easy to grip with a simple tool right? Here, a SoftGripper comes in handy and eliminates all the problems with standard tools.

Why should robotics be a school subject?

Robotics is not a new subject in industrial automation, but this is it as a school subject!

Computer science

Computer science has been a school subject for a long time. Most schools have a form of classroom equiped with a bunch of computers and an after school lesson of how to program a website, how to automate a simple task with C++ on arduino, or python on a raspberry pi or a general class on how to use editing software. 

Electriacal engineering and handicraft

As a seperate subjects schools tend to have a handicraft club for woodworking, tinkering and protoyping where pupils can refine their skills and get involved into the STEM field. So how about giving them a new tool to work with. Even school grade robots can be used to have early automated manufacturing experiences. 3D printing, drawing, laser engraving and object handling are all possible using small robots like the Dobot Magician our SoftGripper was designed for.

Recent development

In recent years, more and more school projects for science fairs and club activities have been using simple robotics, for example lego mindstorms or arduinos with sensors to build robots and automate simple tasks. A Dobot is simply a way to give pupils a platform that they can work with. Where motors, sensors, cameras and conveyor belts can be included. They can simply dive into topics such as object recognition and AI that have previously been available to the most advanced research groups in the world. But now, thanks to more and more developed packages, concepts matter more than the math behind the concepts.

Safety concerns when using robotics as a school subject

Of course there are safety concerns when using robotics. From electricity to pneumatics there are many things to concider. Luckely enough, educational robots are small enough to so they can’t make any harm. But most grippers can be harmful, to hands or to the stuff handled leading to frustration. Here, a gentile gripper is all you need.

Ready for your Challenges

Pupils might ask: “What are the possible applications in an industrial environment?” – Well pick and place tasks are everywhere. From super fast delta robots being able to pack up to two obejects a second to robots that are supposed to lend a hand in any manufacturing process. Here are some examples of where students will encounter soft robotic grippers again!

LOGISTICS

Logistic grippers have to securely handle various products in changing conditions. Therefore, the ideal gripper is universal, robust, simple and fault-tolerant. With SoftGripping you can easily build your own suitable gripping system. Even positioning inaccuracies are no problem for the nonskid,which adaptive surfaces allowing for a secure and careful grip in every setup.

TM robot picking sweets from assembly line

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Special silicones and the plain design without any joints or lubricants allow for hygienic handling of food as well as an easy cleaning procedure. Its flexible structure guarantees gentle handling of sensitive objects.

 

 

 

soft gripper for fruit picking and packaging

COBOTS

Build your your own multi actor or gripping system playfully with SoftGripping – for example to assemble, manipulate or grip your objects. The soft material not only provides effortless handling of your products. It also ensures a save interaction with humans, making it the perfect fit for human-machine interactions.

 

Soft robot automation of bin picking tasks
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