Grippers use geckos as inspiration

May 3, 2021
Schunk's Adheso grippers mimic the lizards by employing the Van der Waals force to lift parts.

Adheso Inspired by nature, Adheso grippers from Schunk use the same mechanism employed by geckos to support their weight on smooth surfaces. The patented surface architecture consists of extremely fine leg structures made of special polymers that can adhere to different materials. A gentle application of pressure increases the contact surface of the leg structures and brings the adhesive properties of what is known as the Van der Waals force into action, allowing the gripper to hold a workpiece without requiring additional energy. The gripper is loosened by the application of a slight pressure or rotary motion.

What’s new? The ADHESO technology.

Benefits Versatility. Schunk can customize the grippers to work with the specific material and size of the product to be moved, from components with dimensions of a few hundred micrometers to ones that are several meters in size and weigh more than 33 pounds. The technology is appropriate for cleanroom use, is gentle on components, leaves no residue and doesn’t require compressed air, vacuum or elecricity. The Adheso gripper has a bayonet lock and therefore the grippers can be exchanged in just a few simple steps.

Schunk Intec Inc., Morrisville, N.C., 919-572-2705,