Large-Scale Space Gripper


With the rapidly growing constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit,  a need exists for a large, versatile gripper system for the Space Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (RMS) that enables the arm to safely and reliably capture and securely hold free-flying objects of various sizes and configurations.  Agile Systems developed such a system during an SBIR for NASA.

Key Features of Large-Scale Configurable Gripper

  • 10-DOF Three identical 3-DOF fingers, plus a continuous roll axis on the base

  • All joints independently actuated with position and force

  • Highly versatile configuration:

    • 2-finger & 3-finger parallel jaw grasps

    • 3-finger enveloping grasps

  • Preprogrammed grasp poses for different shapes:

    • Cylinders (side grip, plus end grip on O.D. and I.D.)

    • Boxes

    • Spheres

    • Cones

    • Thin sheets

    • Special shapes (if any)

  • High load capacity (50-75 lbs maximum grip force)

  • Large gripping range (0-96 inches)

  • Joint-mounted, zero backlash actuators with co-located servo electronics

  • Cameras, proximity sensors and contact force sensors in grip pads

HOME   2005 Agile Systems Inc.  Patents Pending