Grippers and Manipulators
Compliant grippers have many uses for the handling of delicate objects where over compression might damage an objects surface, structural or internal integrity. This is true in industry especially for transporting, finishing and assembling of lightweight components and finished products. For the industry-scale handling of glass and resins, especially with highly polished surfaces, compliant grippers can be an important improvement over conventional mechanisms.
Cellulosic materials, ceramics, porous composites, 3-D printed objects, and even carbon and metal matrix composites, are also vulnerable to localized compression stresses that can damage and deform them. Compliant grippers are ideal for handling these new materials and structures because the gripping stresses are distributed throughout the contact surface and the design grip forces are carefully measured against the materials to be handled.
Medical and Therapeutic Manipulators
Nowhere is the value of compliant grippers and manipulator design more important than in the development of medical devices where contact with living tissues is involved. All of the delicacy required in the handling of fragile materials in industry is amplified in primary and minimally invasive surgery within the operating theater. The handling of whole and damaged organs, bones and other tissues is an area where FlexSys has some considerable expertise.
We have designed a number of specially designed compliant gripper/manipulators that can be deployed in the body cavity through a minimal incision and deployed to grasp, manipulate and operate on targeted tissues without introducing any more than the minimum mechanism required. We also have considerable experience in developing single-use compliant instruments for use by surgeons in place of conventional hand-held instruments. These innovative devices allow surgeons greater latitude in conducting critical procedures in difficult and dangerous environments.