Smart Robotic Grippers Integrated with Novel Triboelectric Sensors

Project: FDCRGP

Project Details

Grant Program

Faculty-development competitive research grants program for 2023-2025

Project Description

Soft robots are highly interesting due to their high degree of mechanical flexibility and stretchability that can complement or replace humans to execute repetitive or risky tasks. They have been widely explored in recent years. For soft systems to achieve their potential, the underpinning technologies of sensing, actuation, and power supply must be fully integrated and operate cooperatively. Application areas for such soft systems include biomedical and medical devices, wearables, electronic skins (e-skins), and soft robots for human-machine interaction, which include assistive devices and rehabilitation training systems. There is also a need to create end effectors, which are devices that can be installed or attached to a robotic wrist or mounting plate to allow the robot to perform its intended tasks; these include manipulators, grippers, and robotic hands. Such soft effectors are desirable when there is a need to interact with fragile or soft components. Handling geometrically complex objects continues to be a difficult task. Robotic grippers would need to interact with the surroundings and manipulate items with a high moving speed to carry out specific tasks in various applications such as automated manufacturing processes, minimally invasive surgery, and space exploration. Grippers also see high demand in agriculture and food industries’ applications such as hygienic food handling and fruit harvesting.

Project Relevance

Objectives of the project
Objective 1. Preparation of a novel triboelectric sensor based on MOF.
The preparation process of MOF for triboelectric material properties enhancement will be studied and the synthesis route will be suggested. The material characterizations and further incorporation as a filler to enhance the dielectric properties of triboelectric matrix (PDMS, PVA, etc.) will be investigated. This study will focus on the effect of various MOFs on improving triboelectric properties (i.e., voltage, dielectric constant, current, power, etc.) of flexible polymer materials.
Objective 2. Design and assembly of the smart robotic gripper.
Initially, various designs will be explored through a CAD model for the proposed robotic gripper parts. The most suitable robotic gripper will be printed, molded and assembled according to the CAD simulation results. The mechanical properties (tensile properties, Young’s modulus) will be accordingly coordinated for the soft gripper fingers to grasp various objects.
Objective 3. Integration of triboelectric sensor with smart robotic gripper.
Integrating a triboelectric sensor and actuating motors in a single environment for efficient feedback control will be achieved. The analog voltage signals will be converted and connected to the operation of the actuating processes in the assembled soft grippers. The appropriate control system that receives the data from the triboelectric sensor will be developed to operate the selection process in the robotic gripper.

Project Impact

This project will contribute to the widespread application of smart robotic grippers for sorting and developing self-charging sensors. That will promote the rapid development of such new technologies and their extensive use and have a strong social impact in Kazakhstan. Today development of smart robotic grippers based on self-charging sensors is getting significant interest from researchers worldwide due to their huge potential for size, design optimizations and future commercialization. We hope the proposed research will make Kazakhstan part of that exciting global technology development race.
Effective start/end date1/1/2312/31/25


  • triboelectric nanogenerators
  • soft robotic grippers
  • triboelectric sensors
  • smart grippers
  • self-charging systems
  • metal-organic framework


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