Date of Original Version
In this work we experimentally demonstrate (a) that the holding strength of universal jamming grippers increases as a function of the jamming pressure to greater than three atmospheres, and (b) that jamming grippers can be used for deep sea grasping tasks in ambient pressures exceeding one hundred atmospheres, where such high jamming pressures can be readily achieved. Laboratory experiments in a pressurized, water filled test cell are used to measure the holding force of a 'universal' style jamming gripper as a function of the pressure difference between internal membrane pressure and ambient pressure. Experiments at sea are used to demonstrate that jamming grippers can be installed on, and operated from, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) at depths in excess of 1200m. In both experiments, the jamming gripper consists of a latex balloon filled with a mixture of fresh water and ~200 micron glass beads, which are cheaply available in large quantities as sand blasting media. The use of a liquid, rather than gas, as the fluid media allows operation of the gripper with a closed loop fluid system; jamming pressure is controlled with an electrically driven water hydraulic cylinder in the lab, and with an oil hydraulic driven large-bore water hydraulic cylinder at sea.
Licht, S., Everett, C., Lopes, M. M., & Christopher, B.(2017). Stronger at Depth: Jamming Grippers as Deep Sea Sampling Tools. Soft Robotics. 4(4), 305-316. doi: 10.1089/soro.2017.0028
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1089/soro.2017.0028