(ECNS) - A new low-cost robotic gripper, developed by the University of Science and Technology of China, is capable of handling a broad range of tasks demanding agility and precision.
The flexible device can hold items of various sizes and shapes — including apples, blocks of tofu, thin paper, and slippery bottles — then accurately transport them to a designated location.
Chen Xiaoping, the director of the university’s Robot Lab, said grippers are a key component of robotics used in services and intelligent manufacturing.
Similar products made abroad cost as much as one million yuan and their performance has been substandard, but the lab’s creation costs under 1,000 yuan ($145) after mass production, he said.
The lab is cooperating with a manufacturer — the name of which Chen did not disclose — to develop a robot used for elderly care that would apply the technology behind Kejia, an intelligent service robot designed by the university.
The new product is expected to hit the market in three years, Chen added.
The university’s research team began studies of smart robots in 1998 and has won 12 world firsts at the RoboCup.