New Industry 4.0 grasper increases efficiency

The Shadow Robot Company used their 20 years’ experience of developing world class robotic hands and thought how they could apply this knowledge to service robots. The result is the Smart Grasping System (SGS), an industrial grasper with built-in intelligence.

  • Industrial graspers are built to pick up one thing, move it and put it down

Industrial graspers are built to pick up one thing, move it and put it down. If you have two different sets of objects, you currently need two different grippers to perform that task. Shadow’s Smart Grasping System has a library of different grasps, meaning you can use one hand to pick up many different types of object, which reduces the need for multiple machines in the factory.


To control the grasper, each SGS finger uses a maxon brushed DCX 14mm motor and GPX 16mm gearhead combination. The DCX range was attractive to Shadow as it is configurable online and offers super-fast delivery - in fact it was ready within 10 days. The power to weight ratio was appealing and, together with the strong gearbox, gave additional torque on a smaller motor. The DCX range uses ironless rotor technology which gives smooth and precise control for the gripper.


Rich Walker, Managing Director at Shadow Robot explained ‘Most industrial graspers don’t have torque sensors. Here at Shadow, we think that if you want the most flexible and safe robots, then that’ s exactly what you need. We’re moving away from a time where robotics were strictly bits of metal clanking around, and moving towards smarter, intelligent technology that understands how it interacts with the world. Which is why we’ve designed the Smart Grasper with this in mind. Torque sensing provides your robot with precision, making accurate grasps with a better hold, increasing the success rate of the grasps, and therefore making for a safer work environment. The SGS has sensors that monitors the torque in the springs of the joints. If you want to apply a particular torque to a finger, you can do that using torque sensing, plus you can physically back-drive it too, increasing human interaction safety. No other commercial grippers have this quality.

Our Smart Grasping System is a universal solution to your manufacturing needs. You’ll require fewer robots, fewer spare parts, less training for staff, less human cost, all resulting in a system that you can install across multiple sites, with an extremely easy user interface and setup. You’ll save money and time, increase efficiency and bring your business in line with smart manufacturing concepts such as Industry 4.0. Our Smart Grasping System represents the very best of British innovation'.

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