Simple Homebrew Robotic Gripper from Junk Parts


Grippers are an important part of robots. Often they are used in gripping and taking objects and play the most important role in robotic arms. Most of the grippers cost much money and may not be easily affordable by hobbyists. Then the best option is to build your own gripper.When it is from the so called ‘useless junk parts’, it becomes more interesting. So let us dive into more  details.

My first prototype
My first prototype

In order to construct this gripper, all you need is the mechanism of on old CD/DVD player, some acrylic sheets or even some small wooden boards for the gripper, some screws and a little hot glue. The mechanism is shown below:

The mechanism of a CD player
The mechanism of a CD player
An upclose view
An upclose view
Detailed view
Another detailed view

As seen from the above images, the CD/DVD player mechanism consistes of a rack and pinion arrangement to drive the eye across the disc and another stepper motor mechanism to drive the disc. It is driven using a simple DC motor and a pair of gears used to increase torque and decrease the speed of the motor, giving a fine control. Now we can cut and remove some parts of the mechanism, ie, the stepper  motor section. Now it will look like this.

The mechanism with the stepper motor section removed
The mechanism with the stepper motor section removed

What we are left with is a  mechanism shown above. It now consists of only the eye and the rack and pinion mechanism to drive it. Driving the motor causes the eye to move towards and away from the stationary part shown at the bottom of the above picture. Now if we replace the eye with something else (preferably something that looks like a robotic gripper), we end up with a partially functional robotic arm. I think you got the logic behind this, and thats all now use your imagination to work out better… The images of my first working prototype are given below

My first prototype
My first prototype
Open arms
Open arms
Closed arms
Closed arms

I also added an Infrared LED and its sensor to the tips of my robotic gripper to detect whether an object is present in between the gripper and it worked pretty nice.

2 thoughts on “Simple Homebrew Robotic Gripper from Junk Parts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s