OnRobot grippers support more cobots with new I/O converter

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OnRobot has launched a Digital I/O converter that enables its RG2, RG6, Gecko, and VG10 grippers to seamlessly integrate with a wider range of collaborative robot arms. The Digital I/O Converter enables the cobot arms to work with the OnRobot grippers with minimal need for programming, resulting in faster switch times between multiple tasks.

OnRobot said this leads to an increase in production as the cobots can get back to work faster. OnRobot said the Digital I/O Converter works with the following brands and cobot arms:


Of course, OnRobot also supports Universal Robots, the leading collaborative robotics company in the world. OnRobot’s RG2, RG6 and VG10 are part of the UR+ program. OnRobot’s HEX Force/Torque sensing package is also part of the UR+ program.

As different cobot arms understand I/O signals differently, OnRobot said the I/O Converter is able to convert NPN to PNP signals and vice versa. What does that mean for the robot operator? PNP sensors, sometimes known as “sourcing sensors” because they source positive power to the output, and NPN sensors, oftentimes called “sinking sensors” because they sink the ground to the output, are the technical terms for the type of transistor used to switch the output.

With the I/O converter, programmers don’t have to worry about the robots not understanding the signals received. The Digital I/O Converter also includes an adapter plate for converting the UR-type A flanges mechanically to other robot flanges.

The Digital I/O converter can be ordered at local sales offices. Additional information, datasheets, and manuals detailing mounting, cable routing, software configurations, and electrical connection can be downloaded here.

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Established in 2015, OnRobot merged with Perception Robotics and OptoForce in 2018, followed by the acquisition of Purple Robotics. Purple Robotics was launched in 2017 by three former Universal Robots (UR) employees with 18-plus years experience working on the UR3, UR5, and UR10 cobots. Co-founders Lasse Kieffer, Henrik Tillitz Hansen, and Peter Nadolny Madsen, who describe themselves as “three Danish super-nerds,” found 40 partners in 25 countries just three months after launching the PR10.

OnRobot kicked off 2019 by shipping pre-orders of its Gecko Gripper that uses millions of micro-scaled fibrillar stalks that adhere to a surface using powerful van der Waals forces — the same way that geckos climb.

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