The FlexShapeGripper is an invention by the company Festo as a robotic gripper with an elastic silicone cap modelled after the tongue of a chameleon.
The video is able to show the machine’s capabilities and versatility in grabbing different objects. It comprises a double acting cylinder with 2 chambers, one filled with compressed air, and other with water. An elastic silicone molding is fitted into its second chamber which acts similar to the chameleon’s tongue. Its design is patterned after similar Festo robotics with the signature white and blue color scheme.
Its ability to grasp a wide range of different textures and geometries is thanks to the process of inversion. The gripper also has the ability for controlled gathering demonstrated in the transportation of multiple small metal balls which it can pick up individually or simultaneously.
The picking up and setting down process is at a last-in, first out principle. It is also capable of energy-free holding, which can cut unnecessary energy consumption costs. This invention has numerous potential uses specifically in production and factory work. The end of the video showcases its versatility in grabbing different shaped items such as a phone, a screw, lego figurine, keys, electronic parts, peanuts, lighting fixtures, cables, batteries, pens, and even an egg.