New innovative gripper with versatile functionality
20 November 2017
ItemPiQ is the robot cell at the core of Swisslog’s AutoPiQ solution - designed for automated picking in intralogistics.
As the first joint development project between KUKA and Swisslog, ItemPiQ (originally named Automated Item Pick - AIP) was presented at Hannover Messe in 2015 and won the 2016 Industriepreis in the category of intralogistics and production management.
Now, ItemPiQ's new multi-function gripper is setting new standards in the world of intralogistics. Its combination of suction and mechanical grippers can take four different gripping positions, depending on the object to be gripped. With a total of four different gripping possibilities, this can collect up to 20% more products together with the sensitive LBR iiwa than conventional industrial robots with typical suction grippers.
In the spring of 2016 KUKA and Swisslog started work on designing the new gripper, now able handle items across a variety of sizes, shapes, surfaces and weight distribution.
"Our goal was to develop a robot-based solution that can make picking more efficient," says Vanessa Wolf, ItemPiQ product manager at Swisslog. The previous gripper, a simple suction pad, had limited use; the more products ItemPiQ can handle, the larger the application area for the robot application.
"It became clear to us that the new gripper must be a combination of suction and mechanical grippers in order to switch between different gripping functions, and therefore pick a wide range of products. The new gripper is a multi-function gripper, which means that it can be used in four different ways."