My name is Patrick and I am interning at OpenROV this summer. One of the projects that I have been given is to design a gripper powered by a standard hobby servo for the OpenROV. My question to you all is what functionality would you like in a gripper for your ROV?
My current thoughts on this challenge goes as follows. When you are driving your robot you are never entirely sure what you are going to see and what you are going to want to pick up or want to probe. Because of this I see a modular design that combines a “scooper” and different types of “pinchers” as the best solution. Companies such as VideoRay and Seabotics already use this technique with interchangeable heads to their actuator (in our case a waterproof servo would be used to power the device)
Given this information, I have been designing a two finger gripper based off of the Yale Open Hand Project (found here) . This design works by having multiple pieces of rigid plastic connected with bendable joints inbetween. Cables run up the length of the pincher which are then pulled by a servo at the base. The idea behind this design is that it is adaptable to grabbing objects of different sizes and shapes with ease. See this video to see the gripper in action.
We would also plan to have some type of attachment slide on the gripper to enable scooping.
What Our Current Gripper is Based off of
A More Traditional Gripper Design