RBR50 company Soft Robotics Inc. announced its mGrip modular gripping system is now available through FANUC’s global distribution network. FANUC is the world’s largest industrial robot manufacturer, so this partnership offers an opportunity to accelerate adoption of soft robotic grippers.
The mGrip system enables users to set up their own configurations of the grippers based on need. Previously, Soft Robotics would create custom grippers for its users. The company’s soft robotic fingers handle a wide variety of objects in terms of shapes, rigidity, and fragility without requiring multiple and potentially expensive sensors. The grippers are used in highly variable industries such as consumer goods manufacturing, food processing and packaging, and e-commerce supply chain.
The partnership also enables users of to directly program and integrate Soft Robotics’ technology with FANUC’s robots.
“When combined with FANUC’s global reach in robotics, we will be able to offer end users and system integrators a single, powerful and agile automation solution to address the unique needs of underserved markets,” stated Soft Robotics CEO Carl Vause.
FANUC and Soft Robotics will demonstrate their partnership at iRex 2019 in Japan. In September, Soft Robotics added smaller fingers to the mGrip system for picking in tight spaces.
“From its earliest days at Harvard, Soft Robotics’ potential to fundamentally transform industrial automation was obvious,” said Carmichael Roberts, founder and managing partner of material impact and chairman of the board of Soft Robotics. “The partnership with FANUC will expand on the profound impact this technology is having across industries and geographies, making it the new gold standard in robotic automation.”
Soft Robotics recently introduced its coDrive system that frees its grippers from the need for tethered pressurized air. coDrive “cuts the pneumatic cord” and allows mGrip to be deployed where the customer needs it. The first iteration of coDrive is designed for plug-and-play capability with arms from cobot leader Universal Robots and has a UR+ certification.