Advanced robots can spare human workers from dangerous or life-threatening conditions and environments - like the intricate underwater terrain of a search-and-rescue mission or extreme pressures faced by oil and gas workers. Robots aren't invincible, however, and they need to be carefully designed to handle these extreme conditions. Here are some of the extreme environments that robots face - and how designers test them
The Nuclear and Applied Robotics Group, based in the University of Texas at Austin, has a mission to "develop and deploy advanced robotics in hazardous environments to minimize risk for the human operator."
In order to interact with their environment and perform the tasks, lightweight robots, like all industrial robots, depend on tools - and in many cases these are vacuum grippers. These form the interface to the workpiece and are therefore a decisive part of the overall system. With their help, the robots can pick up, move, position, process, sort, stack and deposit a wide variety of goods and components. Vacuum gripping systems allow particularly gentle handling of workpieces, a compact and space-saving system design and gripping from above. Precisely because the object does not have to be gripped, the vacuum suction cupenables gapless positioning next to each other.