A robotic gripper without electronics is developed by researchers using 3D printing.

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Imagine a world where robots can be printed right out of a 3D printer, ready to work without any additional electronics. This groundbreaking concept has become a reality thanks to the collaboration between researchers from UC San Diego and BASF corporation. Together, they have developed a robotic gripper that can be 3D printed and used immediately, equipped with built-in gravity and touch sensors.

What makes this gripper so unique is its ability to both grip and release objects. By simply turning the gripper horizontally, a change in airflow triggers the release of the object. This innovative technology opens up a whole new world of possibilities for soft robotics.

Traditionally, 3D-printed soft robots have had limitations. They tend to be stiff, prone to leaks, and require extensive processing and assembly after printing. However, the team of researchers was able to overcome these challenges by developing a new 3D printing method. Instead of the printer nozzle moving back and forth for each layer, it traces a continuous path through the entire pattern, similar to drawing a picture without lifting the pencil off the page.

By using this continuous path printing method, the team was able to reduce the likelihood of leaks and faults in the printed object. It also enables the printing of thinner walls, as thin as 0.5 millimeters, resulting in a softer overall structure. This approach is based on the Eulerian path, a mathematical concept that ensures every edge of a graph is touched once and only once.

The implications of this research are significant. Soft robotics have the potential to revolutionize industries such as industrial manufacturing, food processing, and fruit and vegetable handling. The gripper can be attached to a robotic arm, allowing for precise and safe interactions with delicate objects. It can also be used for study and exploration, and even operate untethered using a high-pressure gas as its power supply.

What makes this new printing method even more impressive is that it requires no post-treatment, post-assembly, or manufacturing fault rectification. It is a reproducible and accessible technique that brings complex robotic systems and components within reach.

In conclusion, the collaboration between UC San Diego and BASF corporation has resulted in a groundbreaking development in soft robotics. The ability to 3D print functional pneumatic soft robots with embedded control circuits opens up new possibilities for automation and interaction with delicate objects. This research represents a significant step towards complex, customized robotic systems that can be created at distributed fabricating facilities.

Title: A New Era of Accessible Robotics: The Remarkable Journey of the Gripper


In a world constantly evolving with innovative technologies, robotics has emerged as a game-changer in various industries. These mechanical marvels improve efficiency, convenience, and precision in tasks that were once considered impossible. Today, we delve into the incredible story of the gripper – a pivotal component in robotic systems – and the groundbreaking manufacturing process behind its creation. Buckle up as we explore a revolutionary approach that paves the way for customized robot systems and components manufactured at distributed fabricating facilities.

Unveiling the Gripper Fabrication Process:

What sets apart an exceptional manufacturing process is its ability to eliminate post-treatment, post-assembly, and repair of manufacturing defects. In the case of the gripper, this seemingly impossible feat has become a reality. Our journey begins by unraveling this pioneering manufacturing process that brings robot technology to new heights.

Embracing Impeccable Precision:

The first cornerstone of this extraordinary process lies in the meticulous attention to detail and precision. Every stage of the gripper’s fabrication is executed with utmost accuracy, ensuring that defects are almost nonexistent. Thanks to cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, the gripper is flawlessly constructed, requiring minimal to no adjustments or repairs.

Reap the Benefits of Repeatable Manufacturing:

Repeatability is the backbone of any successful manufacturing process. With the gripper’s approach, achieving this desired level of consistency is a triumph. By employing innovative techniques, we have created a production system that yields identical grippers time and time again. This remarkable feat not only saves valuable resources but also enhances the accessibility of grippers for a broader range of robotic systems.

Empowering Customization:

In the realm of robotics, flexibility is key. Understanding this necessity, our approach enables the creation of complex and customized robotic systems and components. By utilizing distributed fabricating facilities, we empower manufacturers and users to tailor the grippers precisely to their specific requirements. This newfound ability revolutionizes the industry by bridging the gap between standardized robotic systems and highly adaptable solutions.

Closing Thoughts:

The manufacturing process behind the gripper signifies a remarkable leap towards a future where robotics is seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. This ground-breaking approach not only showcases the tireless efforts of scientists and engineers but also celebrates the promising advancements in the field. As robotic systems become more accessible, customizable, and reliable, we anticipate a world where industries can harness the full potential of our mechanical counterparts. Brace yourself for a future defined by precision, efficiency, and endless possibilities. The gripper has set a new standard, and it’s only the beginning.

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