Resources / Motion Applications / Robotic Gripper Control

Robotic Gripper Control

~ Performance Motion Devices

Robotic Gripper Control specifically means control methods associated with getting a robotic 'hand' to grip an object safely - applying neither too much or too little force. Too much and the object may be crushed or damaged, and too little and the object may be dropped during robot arm motion. Looking at this problem more generally though this combined position and torque control problem is relevant to a broad category of applications including screw cap applicators, cobots, press fit equipment, surgical robotics, and more.

In this Motion Application:

  • Explore Design Considerations & Techniques
    The key difference between motion control of motors used to transport objects from point A to point B and motion control of motors used as grippers used to grasp and perhaps manipulate objects is the additional requirement for force control. In the robotic gripping control problem we care just as much (and often more) about the force applied by the actuator as the position of the actuator.

  • Examine Application Architecture
    The diagram below shows a cascaded position/torque control loop often used in force control applications. When the gripper or actuator has not yet made contact with the target object the Torque Command is generally very small because nothing (yet) resists the motion of the actuator. Once contact is made the Torque Command increases rapidly as compression of the gripped/contacted object creates a countervailing force to the position control loop. By limiting or monitoring this torque output precise torque control can be achieved, whether for a robot gripper, a screw cap applicator, or any application where a specific torque is needed.

  • View Motion Control Solutions
    Since 1994 Performance Motion Devices products have been used in a range of force control applications including robotic grippers, automated fastening systems, surgical robotics, and virtual motion systems. PMD’s ultra-compact and powerful N-Series ION Drives is especially well suited for robotic gripper control, as is the MC58113 Motion Control IC family. For applications that require force control but not positioning control PMD's Juno IC family is another cost effective solution well suited to the task.

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