Design of a Collaborative Modular End Effector Considering Human Values and Safety Requirements for Industrial Use Cases
In times of volatile market demands and international competition, European companies must highly rely on robots, especially collaborative robots, to enable flexible, agile, and resilient manufacturing. However, considering that 99% of the industry is composed of small and medium enterprises, the barriers of robot adoption need to be considered. Therefore, in this research work, we address two of the main barriers for the use of robots: safety and design, by proposing a modular end-effector for collaborative robots. In this work, an iterative design methodology using morphological structures and feedback from a user group to obtain a design solution was applied. Afterwards, the obtained solution comprised of several modules using 3D printing and off-the-shelf components was manufactured. Finally, the end-effector was tested on its picking performances and safety. The result shows that the reconfigurable end-effector can be easily adapted to grasp different parts, is well perceived by users, and meets the safety requirements for collaborative applications.