IIT Madras develops robot with good grasping capability

CHENNAI:

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) have developed a Multimodal Robotic System with good grasping, manipulation and locomotion abilities for use in industrial and field applications, the IITM said on Wednesday.

In a statement issued here, IITM said the robot system called GraspMan consists of a pair of graspers which provides morphological adaptation, enabling it to conform to the geometry of the object being grasped.

This allows the grasper to hold objects securely and manipulate it much like the human hand.

A prototype of the grasper has been fabricated at the Robotics Laboratory, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras, and the experimental results confirm manipulation capabilities of the robot.

The research is being led by Asokan Thondiyath, a Professor in the Robotics Laboratory in the IITM's Department of Engineering Design, and his student and Research Scholar Nagamanikandan Govindan.

"The motivation behind this research is to realise a robot with a minimalistic design that can overcome the need for task-specific robots that are capable of navigating and manipulating across different environments without increasing the system complexity," Thondiyath was quoted as saying in the statement.

According to IITM, this new class of robots have various industrial applications such as pipe climbing and inspection, which involve climbing, holding and assembling, all of which are possible in their design.

Machines used in search-and-rescue operations and locomotory applications will also benefit from this robotic platform.