Title: A SELF-SEALING SUCTION TECHNOLOGY FOR VERSATILE GRASPING
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 5th at 1:30 PM
Location: 0159 Martin Hall
To achieve these goals, we have developed a self-sealing suction technology for grasping. A small valve inside each suction cup nominally seals the suction port to maintain a vacuum within the system. Through the reaction forces of object contact, a lever action passively lifts the valve to engage suction on the object. Any cups not contacting the object remain sealed. In this way, a system with a large number of cups may effectively operate using any subset of its cups, even just one, to grasp an object. All cups may be connected to a central vacuum source without the need for local sensors or powered actuators for operation, forming a simple, compact, cost effective system.
This thesis begins with the detailed design and analysis of the self-sealing suction technology. An extensive evaluation of the technology’s robustness and performance demonstrates its features and limits. This includes self-seal quality and leakage, object seal and reseal, cycle performance, and normal and shear force-displacement, among other characterizations. It then describes the development of several devices utilizing the technology. The potential impact of the technology is highlighted through applications of human-controlled, robotic, and aerial grasping and perching. Finally, mathematical tools are developed to analyze the stability of potential grasps developed using the technology.