Soft Robotics Goes Untethered with coDrive System

The coDrive technology allows Soft Robotics' grippers to work with cobots without tethered pressurized air. Image: Soft Robotics

November 05, 2019      

BEDFORD, Mass. – Soft Robotics recently announced its latest technology, which allows for the company’s mGrip soft gripper technology to work with collaborative robots without the requirement for tethered pressurized air. The coDrive system, through an integration with Soft Robotics’ control logic and an independent air source, is now available to power an expanded line of the company’s mGrip Cobot Kits.

CoDrive by Soft Robotics

The company said that as cobots and robot arms become more mobile, they will require a gripping system that is easier to deploy and utilize. The coDrive “cuts the pneumatic cord” and allows mGrip to be deployed where customers need it, untethering the system for cobot applications that include pick-and-place, packaging, and machine tending. The first version of coDrive is designed for plug-and-play capability with Universal Robots, and it has a UR+ certification, Soft Robotics said.

Carl Vause Soft Robotics

Carl Vause, Soft Robotics

“Our customers are deploying collaborative robots in an agile infrastructure, but to do so they require a gripping solution that enables their agile manufacturing strategy and removes barriers that traditional grasping technologies present,” said Carl Vause, CEO of Soft Robotics. “We designed coDrive with this in mind to power our proven mGrip technology in our new Cobot Kits, allowing customers to deploy or re-deploy their collaborative robotic solution anywhere and with ease, enabling flexibility in their supply chain and manufacturing operations.”

Soft Robotics said the controller tucks away into the UR cabinet, and includes URCap software for easy programming via the teach pendant. Enabling untethered mGrip applications was the inspiration for coDrive. Users install the mGrip system, set the grip pressure and release timing and are able to immediately start picking in the manufacturing location of their choice, no longer dictated by the proximity of house air.

“We are excited by the new mGrip Cobot Kits from Soft Robotics that we see filling a gap in the collaborative market,” said Joe Campbell, senior manager of strategic marketing and application development at Universal Robots. “These kits are truly designed with our customers in mind and are sure to enable quick deployment and a quick ROI.”

Soft Robotics and Universal Robots will co-host a webinar on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the new coDrive technology and preview the mGrip Cobot Kits. Click here to register for the webinar.