Rock Gripper for Sampling, Mobility, Anchoring, and Manipulation
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
Friday, February 01 2013
This spine/claw-based technology has applications in military
robots that need to climb natural rock surfaces or caves for
reconnaissance purposes, or for revealing buried explosive devices.
A new gripper mechanism can be used
as an end effector for a long arm that
reaches out from a nearby spacecraft for
a touch-and-go type of mission. The gripper
would stabilize the arm and allow
samples to be collected and in situ science
to be done from a fixed platform. In
the long term, this style of gripper could
even be used as handholds for astronauts
trying to move about on/near small asteroids.
The prototype developed has
demonstrated a 120 N gripping force,
and improvements continue to be made.
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