We have a xArm6 with a BIO gripper from UFACTORY. Just while implementing, I noticed that the position of the gripper cannot be set, it is either open or close. The internal encode is missing in order to return the current position. However in our workflow, the gripper in open position would crash into neighboring material, which is why we need to set the position during the process.
One suggestion of the manufacturer is to redesign the gripper jaws, so that the max position is the desired position needed to take the material.
We will now build a prototype, but I am still thinking about alternatives. Getting another gripper module, from ufactory or another supplier ? Or building in an internal encoder and adjust the source code which could get quiet time-consuming ?
Does anyone faced the same issue? If yes, how did you solve it?
Happy for any comment or advice!
I dealt with a similar issue using the Mecademic Meca500 and their MEGP 25LS gripper, which at the time could only be set to either open or closed (though I believe the new firmware allows for intermediate positions). I ended up designing gripper fingers that would be the correct width when fully open, which worked well. Taking a look at the BIO gripper, it seems like it would be pretty easy to swap in new gripper fingers, so I’d recommend that route. If you asked nicely, UFACTORY might even share CAD files for their gripper fingers which would make modifying the dimensions very easy.
A different gripper could certainly work, but since the current arm and gripper are both from UFACTORY I imagine it would be easier to stick with the stock gripper. I’m not familiar enough with the xArm6 to know how open to modifications it is, but in general trying to add an additional encoder to an arm and get the robot firmware to use it correctly sounds like a bit of a nightmare.
I’ve just ordered a ufactory arm with the biogripper myself as well and I expect I will be facing the same issue. Did you already find a way out?
I’m part of a university with a mechanical workshop, so modifying the gripper should be possible. Do you know whether the fingers can be replaced? On the website it only says that the tips can be easily replaced.