Intelligent gripping tool with self-adaptive properties – innovative technology solution based on a biological model (BioGrip)


In biology and technology, the safe gripping, holding and transporting of objects is an essential basic task. Both fields have to cope with enormously manifold requirements. Technology solves these challenges in an object-related manner and has developed a correspondingly broad arsenal of most diverse special tools. However, classical tool designs reach their limits when objects with variable material consistency, varying geometry or of even organic origin are to be gripped. For a careful collection of living organisms (plants and animals) in marine ecology, there are no sustainable solutions yet, and similarly for the gentle handling of organic products (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, etc.) in automated agriculture and food industry.


The project aims at the development and production of a Fin Ray gripping mechanism with integrated sensors for the recognition of the gripped object, auto-adaptive shape adjustment and sensitive control of the gripping and holding forces.

  • Technical implementation of the FinRay Effect as a gripping mechanism using 3D printing (shape-adaptive structure, lightweight construction)
  • Integration of printed sensors into the gripping structure (contact testing, determination of holding forces).

Applications addressed include deep-sea research, aerospace and food technology.


© Christoph Wilsnack/Fraunhofer IWS
© Christoph Wilsnack/Fraunhofer IWS
© Christoph Wilsnack/Fraunhofer IWS