Chameleon’s tongue for industrial automation wins design prizes

Festo’s adaptive shape gripper DHEF won renowned distinctions in 2020 including the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award.

The iF Design Award is one of the world’s most important design prizes, while Red Dot is synonymous with being amongst the best in design and business. As an international design competition, the Red Dot Design Award is intended for all who want to distinguish their business activities by means of design.

The following functional principle convinced the jurors of the two coveted design awards: the silicone cap of the adaptive shape gripper DHEF can fold itself over and grip objects of virtually any shape. This creates a firm, form-fitting hold. The elastic silicone enables the gripper to precisely adapt to a wide range of geometries. When combined with a pneumatic drive, the adaptive shape gripper requires little energy for a secure grip.

Chameleon’s tongue for industrial automation wins design prizes

Unlike the mechanical grippers currently available on the market that can only grip specific components, the adaptive shape gripper is extremely flexible. It can even manage components with freely formed shapes and round geometries. The absence of sharp edges makes it ideal for gripping sensitive objects such as air nozzles or trim strips. In principle, the gripper can pick up several parts in one movement, for example nuts from a bowl.

This means that the bionic gripper can be used to handle small parts in classic machine building, in the electronic or automotive industry, in supply units for packaging installations, for human-robot interaction during assembly tasks or for prosthetic extensions in medical technology.

The gripper has an elastic silicone membrane that is flexible and pliable; once it is supplied with compressed air and the standardized robot interface with integrated air connections has been added, it is ready to be used as a practical automation component. The standard sensor slot for position sensing as well as the bayonet lock for easy replacement of the cap are additional useful features.