Soft-touch robot picks variable, soft products

By Rick Lingle in Robotics on September 26, 2016

A new kind of single end-of-arm tool (EOAT) allows robots to handle a range of products and packaging without the need for tool changes or software modifications between cycles.


We live on a planet that has a world of variability, which makes it both exciting and problematic when it comes to robotic pick-and-place operations.

For example, with fresh produce like apples or peaches, there is variability in the size and shape of each piece.

Similarly, delicate applications can range from fresh baked items, enrobed chocolate or other topping, to fresh hamburger patties.

That’s where a partnership between JLS Automation and Soft Robotics offers a solution using a new kind of single end-of-arm tool (EOAT) that can handle a range of objects without the need for tool changes or software modifications between cycles.

The Soft Robotics’ EOAT has been proven to grasp difficult-to-handle products with variable characteristics such as fresh produce, raw dough or filled bags using a single device.

At Pack Expo 2016, the Soft Robotics grippers will be integrated with an Osprey robotic case packer in the JLS booth where daily demonstrations of a “kitting” application will be performed. The particular application displayed will be a salad kit where several items—such as a bag of lettuce, a package of croutons, a pouch of dressing and various fresh produce products—will all be placed into a case using a single EOAT.

Pack Expo Booth N-5427

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