I need a locking mechanism for my robot’s end of arm. What do you suggest?

My next robot arm would be more fantastic if it had an automatic tool changer (ATC). I have seen how Kuka uses Schunk quick change systems that use a very clever steel ball bearing system for physical locking. I’m pretty sure that it’s still under patent so I can’t use a similar system of my own design. Do you know of an open source design or method that I can use? Some notes:

  • My current end of arm is 60mm across and my payload maximum is 2kg.
  • For safety the system can only unlock when powered.
  • Ideally the locking mechanism is asymmetrical so that it only connects in the correct orientation.
  • Given the choice of two nearly identical systems I would pick the lighter, lower-profile model.
  • I love how the Schunk ATC has the data/power block on the side so it can be tailored to client’s needs.
  • Note the guide pins that ensure proper seating before attempted locking.

submitted by /u/i-make-robots
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