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Publication numberUSRE28663 E
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 23, 1975
Filing dateSep 22, 1969
Priority dateOct 7, 1965
Also published asUS3343864
Publication numberUS RE28663 E, US RE28663E, US-E-RE28663, USRE28663 E, USRE28663E
InventorsJames I. Baer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid motor and material handling apparatus and the like utilizing same
US RE28663 E
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Baer m1 E Re. 28,663

[ Reissued Dec. 23, 1975 FLUID MOTOR AND MATERIAL HANDLING APPARATUS AND THE LIKE UTILIZING SAME [75] Inventor: James I. Baer, Lakeland, Fla.

[73] Assignee: Baka International Marketing Corporation, New York, NY.

[22] Filed: Sept. 22, 1969 [21] Appl. No: 871,809

Related US. Patent Documents Reissue of:

[64] Patent No.: 3,343,864

Issued: Sept. 26, 1967 Appl. No.: 493,758

Filed: Oct. 7, 1965 [52] US. Cl 294/99 R; 294/86 R; 294/88 {51] Int. Cl. B660 1/46 {58] Field of Search 294/63, 63 A, 88, 89, 81,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,693,074 11/1928 Falco .0 294181 2,768,018 l0/l956 Ehmann 294/63 3,039,767 6/l962 Staines 294/88 3,202,061 8/1965 Johnston 92/37 3,284,964 ll/l966 Saito 92/37 Primary Examiner-Ev0n C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-Johnny D. Cherry Attorney, Agent, or FirmElliot A. Lackenbach [57] ABSTRACT Fluid motor comprising a longitudinally extensive first part adapted for bending at least transversely of its [ongitudinal extent attached to a second co-extena'ing part which is elongatable relative to the first part in response to fluid pressure application therebetween so that the elongation of the second part produces bending or eur- Iing of the first part and material handling apparatus incorporating same.

21 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Reissued Dec. 23, 1975 Sheet 1 of2 Re. 28,663

Reissued Dec. 23, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 Re. 28,663

Fig.7

FLUID MOTOR AND MATERIAL HANDLING APPARATUS AND THE LIKE UTILIZING SAME Matter enclosed in heavy brackets I: 1 appears in the original patent but forms no part of this reissue specification; matter printed in italics indicates the additions made by reissue.

The present invention relates to I: apparatus for handling material or objects, I motors and more particularly to motors of the fluid actuated type. The present invention finds particular utility when applied to [the type of apparatus which has a power actuated gripping or embracing action by which objects or materials can be handled or manipulated, particularly by remote control.

A primary object of the present invention is the provision of new and novel fluid motors and of methods of providing force and/or movement in response to fluid pressures.

The principal 1 Another primary object of the present invention is the provision of [a I new and improved material handling apparatus and the like I: which is capable of gripping I: an object] objects by I: an element 1 one or more elements which [curls about the object] curl thereabout in response to fluid pressure applied to the interior thereof to embrace the object or objects for holding, resisting movement, transporting I: transportation II or handling thereof.

Yet another primary object of the present invention is the provision of I: a new and improved handling apparatus of the character I: mentioned 1 disclosed and described in which the pressure of the grip about the object or objects can be readily regulated, modified and controlled according to the fluid pressure applied.

A still further primary object of the present invention is to provide an article of manufacture comprising I: an I a longitudinally extensive bendable [elongated flexible part attached between its ends to a second generally co-extending part which is likewise bendable I: flexible I and which may elongate relative to the first part in response to fluid pressure applied to the interior thereof so that the differing elongation of the I: second part 1 two parts produces a tendency towards curling or bending of the relatively inelastic first part] thereof.

A yet still further primary object of the present invention is to provide an article ofmanufacture comprising a longitudinally extensive bendable first part attached at at least two generally longitudinally spaced apart portions to a second generally co-extending part which is likewise bendable and which may elongate relative to the first part in response to fluid pressure applied thereto so that the differing elongation of the two parts produces a tendency towards curling thereof.

Still another primary object f the present invention is the provision of articles of manufacture of the class described wherein the elongatable and non-elongatable parts are further joined together along their edges substantially completely between their ends so as to be capa' ble of retaining pressurized fluid directly therebetween.

Still further, it is yet another primary object of the present invention to provide articles of manufacture of the class described having a first relatively non-elongatable flat side wall about which the article may bend and a second elongatable wall laterally spaced apart from and secured thereto together with means retaining a fluid therebetween and means for varying the pressure of the fluid to produce elongation of the elongatable wall and thereby a tendency towards bending about the flat side wall.

Yet another primary object ofthe present invention is the provision of methods and apparatus for producing, bending or flexing forces and/0r movements in response to fluid pressures.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of preferred [forms embodiments thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a material handling device [embodying one form of I incor orating a fluid motor in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view, I: partly 1 partially in section and drawn on a larger scale of the material handling device shown in FIG. 1 I: including 1 and illustrating schematically a I: schematic I control therefor;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a gripping member embodying another form I incorporating a fluid motor in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing the motor and member [in form 1 as actuated for grip- Ping;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a flexing member embodying [still] another [form of] motor in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the flexing member shown in FIG. 6 I: and 1 illustrated on a larger scale.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a power operated apparatus I0 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and incorporating novel fluid motors in accordance with the present invention is shown for handling objects remote from the operator thereof, [one of which objects is 1 such as, by way ofexample only, a tubular member T shown in broken lines. The objects handled by the apparatus may be of a type or in an environment in which it cannot be readily handled manually, for example. It is to be understood, however, that the invention could be utilized in many different forms [and for providing forces and/or movements, such as, for handling objects for various purposes, as well as providing merely animation or movement of figures, or for operation of control or indicators rcsponsive to changes in condition which mayreflect changes in pressure of fluid.

The apparatus 10 [comprises 1 may comprise, for example, a base member or hand" 11 having a surface which may be configured complementary the object to be grasped, such as, for example, a concave surface 12 [thereon 1 against which a part of the tube T may engage, and a number of grasping elements depending upon the shape of the object to be grasped, such as, for example, two pairs of fluid motors constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and configured to define fingers I3, 14 and IS, 16 which may extend generally from opposite sides of the base member ll adjacent the concave surface 12. Where, as in the present example, it is desired to provide apparatus Irticularly adapted for grasping and manipulating a nerally tubular member, the fingers [are 1 may be oerable to curve alternately or oppositely inwardly and tr! around to grasp [an article 1 the object T thereithin and therebetween, as is shown.

The hand member 11 may be formed of any suitable aterial, such as, and without limitation, cast metal, id [is] may be attached to an arm 17 of a mecha sm, not shown, by which the hand member II and tachedflngers l3, [4, l5 and 16 can be manipulated ther manually or by suitable power means, for trans- )rting or otherwise handling the objects gripped by e fingers l3l6 and held to the hand proper. The aeration of the fingers to grip and release objects can controlled from substantially any desired location and 'en by remotely located control means such as deribed hereinafter. Referring to FIG. 2, wherein the apparatus is shown irtly in section taken on a plane transversely of the ;is of the object T so that the hand member 11 and iger 13 are shown in longitudinally bisected elevamal cross-section and finger 14 appears in elevation, lCh of the fingers 13-16 [comprises 1 may comprise tube of suitable imperforate bendable [flexible] aterial, such as, by example only and without limitain, rubber or rubber-like plastic or the like, which ay be closed at its outer end portion and which has 1 may have an open space inner end which may integral with a rigid coupling 18 which [is 1 may be readed into an opening in the member 12 for connec- )n with a source of fluid under pressure [source 1, :scribed hereinafter. To simplify the explanation of is disclosure only fingers l3 [,1 and 14 are deribed in detail and it should be understood that the igers 15 [,1 and 16 [are] may be like fingers l3 ,1 and 14 in all respects. The fingers l3 [,1 and 14 ay have inner side walls 13a [,1 and 14a, respecely, which [are 1 may bend and which will not elonrte substantially [flexible but inelastic, at least in the ngitudinal direction of the fingers 1 and the edges of c inner wall [are 1 may be each integral with a :xible and 1 an elongatable outer wall 13b [,1 and lb, respectively. In order to be capable of bending sily, the walls 130 and 14a must be substantially flat, shown in FIG. 3. The outer walls 13b [,1 and 14b are 1 may be elongatable,for example, by reason of arisvcrse corrugations 13c [,1 and 14c and in a )rmal, unstressed and unactuated state, the fingers are 1 may be approximately straight, or at least in a laxed or non-gripping position. it will be apparent at if fluid is introduced into the fingers 13 [,1 and l [under pressure 1 and pressurized, the walls 13b 1 and 14b tend to elongate. and because the walls la 1 and 14a [are non-elastic 1 do not elongate at least, relatively 1 [non-elastic 1 do not elon 'te relative [to 1 the walls 13c [,1 and Me, the )rmally straight finger-like elements will bend or curl tout the non-elastic 1 non-elongating walls 13a 1 and 14a and thereby cause a gripping action of c fingers, as is illustrated in FIG. 1. The fingers 13-16 are 1 may preferably be molded of the material men- )ned in a form and configuration so that when the ternal pressure of the finger approaches that of the mosphere the form or configuration of the finger turns to a position in which the walls [3a [a 1 and in are straight or nearly so. it will be understood that e fingers could be formed of other materials or in her forms having the characteristics of a [nonelongated 1 nonelongatable or non-ei'tetidabIe section or portion co-extcnding with an extendable or elongatable section or portion. 1! will be further understood that, since the application offluid pressure to the interior of the fingers results in an increased tendency ofthe fingers to curl, the application of fluid under pressure to the interior of the fingers results in the fingers producing a force or motion in a curling direction. Hence, the fingers may be said to define fluid motors which, upon the application or increase of fluid pressure internally thereof, produce a curling force which, unresisted or insufficiently resisted, results in curling movement. This curling tendency or motor action may be harnessed in many ways, such as, for example, by utilizing the curling grip action thereofas in the heretofore described grasping or manipulating apparatus which utilizes the force as it is generated substantially entirely along the surface of the non-extendable portion or, the force or movement generated may be resisted or utilized at only one or more locations therealong. Obviously, the maximum movement will occur at the tip or closed end portion of the finger.

Furthermore, the walls 13a [,1 and 14a [are] may [preferably 1 be formed of material which af fords a suitable gripping surface and [should be 1 wear [resistant 1 resistance. For example, it may be desirable to provide a roughened [thread 1 tread or surface which engages the article gripped thereby, as seen at 13d [,1 and Md.

The gripping action of the fingers 13-16 [is] may be controlled by directing fluid under pressure into or otherwise increasing the pressure offluid in the fingers and the relaxing or release 1 releasing of the gripping action [is] may be effected by releasing the fluid from or otherwise reducing the pressure on the fluid in the fingers, all of which may be effected at orfrom any suitable location relative to the hand member 11. The source ofpressurizedfluid and the means and mechanism utilized to control, increase, decrease and affect the pressure of the fluid may be responsive to substantially any type or variety ofenergy source including, without limitation, electricity, heat, radiation, mechanical movement, and the like, either within or without the fingers. ln the form or embodiment of the invention shown, the

openings in member 1] into which the finger couplings 18 are threaded receive the ends of branch tubes, two of which appear at 19 I: ,1 and 20, which tubes I: are 1 may be connected with a manifold 21 at the end of a fluid supply conduit 22 which passes 1 may pass through the arm 17 and [is 1 may be connected with a suitable threeway control valve 24 installed at a convenient control position. The valve 24 [is] may be connected to a convenient fluid pressure system, not shown, by a connection 24:: and [which 1 directs fluid into the conduit 22 through an outlet 24b by operation of a control handle 24c. Where the fluid is to be conserved, as where a hydraulic oil is being utilized, fluid may be blcd from the conduit 22 into the low pressure side of the fluid system through a return line 24d by movement of the handle 24c to a given control position. The details of valve 24 are not shown inasmuch as any suitable form of three-way valve could be employed, many of which are commercially available.

If desired, each finger or pair of fingers, i.c., opposite disposed fingers, could have its own source of controlled fluid prcssure, including means for modifying the pressure and/or volume ofa quantity offluid sealed or contained therein.

it will be seen that by manipulating arm 17 so as to position the surface 12 of the hand member 11 against an object with the two pairs of fingers 13, 14 and 15, 16 along opposite sides thereof, and directing fluid under pressure into the fingers the fingers will curl about the object and grip it according to the pressure of the fluid in the fingers. By increasing or decreasing the pressure of the fluid, the grip exerted may be modified.

The arm 17 may then be manipulated to transfer the object gripped by the fingers to its desired destination or to otherwise manipulate the object whereupon the fluid ma then be exhausted from the fingers and cause 1 enable them to return to their normally straight positions and release the object. The fluid pressure for actuating the fingers can be supplied through flexible tubing so as to permit freedom in the manipulations of the hand member 11 in its movements of the gripped object.

It will be appreciated that by limiting the fluid pressure admitted to the fingers, the gripping pressure applied to the object can be controlled and either a pressure gauge or a pressure limiting or regulating control could be employed in the fluid pressure system.

It will be apparent that the invention is readily suitable for handling of objects by grasping the same and that the movement of the fingers 13-16 could as well be utilized as fluid motors for actuating or operating various types of mechanisms [including control devices, signalling devices and the like, and that remote control of the apparatus is easily effected through the fluid tubing and control valving. Likewise, it will be appreciated that elements embodying the invention could be employed to simulate the movable joints of members of animated animals, for example.

The elongated sides of the fingers or motors need not be corrugated but may be of a material which assumes a random shape when it is collapsed by the reduction of fluid pressure inside the fingers. Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, a motor or finger 30 is shown comprising a I: flexible 1 bendable but relatively [inelastic nonelongatable wall 30a which normally assumes a straight form, and which [is] may be integrally joined along two generally transversely spaced apart, longitudinally extending locations or seams, such as its edges and along its outer end to an [expansible elongated elongatable side wall structure 30b which [has no I need not have any particular form and [lies :I which may lie in random folds when the portion 30a of the finger is straight. By applying fluid under pressure into the finget or motor through a suitable tube 31, or otherwise increasing the pressure therein, the elongation of the part 30b and the inability of the side 20:: to elongate, results in a curling or tendency toward curling of the element 30, as seen in FIG. 5. The finger 30 could be attached to any suitable apparatus or device to utilize its capacity for movement or tendency toward movement as described.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, another [form 1 device utilizing another embodiment of the invention is disclosed in which an arm 40 is shown which comprises a plurality of sections of rigid tubular members 41, 42 and 43 interconnected by flexing motor joints 44 and 45 which may impart swinging movement to the arm section. The flexing motor joints 44 1 and 45 may comprise tubular sections having [flexible but inelastic bendable but substantially non-elongatable side walls 44a and 45a [in the longitudinal direc tion and elongatable wall portions 44b and 45b,

connected therewith in the form of corrugations, similar to the walls 13c and 14c of the fingers l3 J and 14. The walls 44a, 44b, 45a, and 45b [are 1 may be formed of suitable material such as described with reference to the fingers 13-16. The ends of the sections 44 [,1 and 45 may have threaded discs attached thereto and for the sake of simplicity only the discs 44c 1 and 44d of section 44 are shown. The discs 44c and 44d [are I may be threaded into the adjoining [ends I end portions of the rigid members 41 J and 42 and fluid under pressure [is 1 may be conducted to and exhausted from the joint 44 as by tubing 47. The [tube 1 tubing 47 [is may be connected with a suitable fluid source including a valve arrangement, not shown, which could be similar to that described hereinbefore, and [is may be attached in an o ening through the disc 44c through which fluid is may be fed into the joint 44. One end of a tube 48 [is I may be attached in an opening through the disc 44d and the other end [is I may be attached in an opening through the disc 45c at thejoint 45, which disc is 1 may be like disc 44c, so that fluid from the joint 44 [passes I may pass into the joint 45 through the tube 48. It will be seen that when fluid pressure is applied to the line or [tube] tubing 47, the joint 45 is I and 44 will flex and cause the rigid portions 41, 42 and 43 to move through a partially closed or generally U-shaped [from 1 form or configuration, as for supporting material or the like. It may further be seen that the joints 44 and 45 are similar in action to an elbow or knee joint and would therefore be useful in providing animation. The flexible but inelastic walls 44 and 45 may be of longer or shorter length relative to the extendable walls 44b and 45b, as desired, and accordingly the radius or rate ofrotation may be modified. Yetfurther, both the non-elongatable and the elongatable walls may, if desired, each be either uniformly bendable and uniformly elongatable, respectively, may be bendable and elongatable, respectively, at only discreet locations or portions therealong, or may be non-uniformly bendable and elongatable, respectively, without departing from the present invention so as to define units having,for example, alternating rigid and bendable portions such as shown in FIG. 6. Yet still further, a plurality of fluid motors constructed in accordance with the present invention, and each having a greater or lesser extent than those illustrated, may be joined directly together in end to end or tandem relationship, for increased versatility, efliciency and economy.

It will be understood that although I have described three forms of the invention it is to be understood that other forms, modifications and adaptations thereof could be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims which follow.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for gripping objects and the like comprising a base member, a pair of tubular members each supported at one end to said base member and normally extending relatively straight, each of said tubular members being closed at its extended end and each comprising a yieldable extendable side wall connected along the edges thereof with a relatively nonextendable side of said member, and means to direct fluid into said tubular members under pressure for causing extension of said extendable walls thereof thereby curving said nonextendable sides facing towards the other whereby said members curve in response to fluid pressure therein toward one another. 1

t 2. An apparatus for supporting objects and the like 'omprising, two elongated rigid members arranged in nd to end relation and connected byjoint means com irising a tubular member having one side of flexible elatively non-extendable material and the opposite tall formed of flexible material and extendable elonatable in a direction said tubular members extend, neans normally tending to maintain said members at a elatively substantial angle, and means for applying luid pressure to said tubular member, whereby said longated wall thereof is extended and about said nonxtendable wall thereby causing relative angular movetent between said members to decrease the normal ngle therebetween. J

I: 3. A structure for gripping objects comprising a elatively rigid support element, a flexible hollow memer having one end secured to said support element and he remainder thereof being free to flex, means to suply a fluid under pressure to the interior of said memer, said flexible hollow member having an extendable tall adapted to elongate in response to fluid pressure pplied inside said member, and flexible gripping ieans extending along one side of said extendable wall nd connected therewith, said flexible gripping means cing non-elongatable relative to said extendable wall thereby fluid pressure applied to the interior of said lexible member causes said extendable wall to elonate and flex about said gripping means and curve said ripping means away from said extendable wall for mbracing an object, and means normally urging said iember and flexible means toward a non curving posiion to release an object embraced by said gripping teams] I 4. A structure as defined in claim 3 in which said ollow member comprises a finger-like element closed t the end remote from said support element, and said lexible gripping means comprises a side wall of said inger-like element formed of relatively non-elongataile flexible material which tends to assume a substanially straight attitude when fluid pressure in said holow member is relatively low] 5. A structure as defined in claim 4 in which the xterior of said side wall has an outer surface adapted o grip articles] 6. A structure as defined in claim 3 in which said xtendable wall comprises a corrugated section having he corrugations thereof extending transversely of the lirection of elongation thereof. 1

I: 7. A structure as defined in claim 4 in which said xtendable wall is comprised of corrugations extending ransversely of said extendable member] [8. An apparatus for gripping objects and the like omprising a support member including a base portion, flexible tubular member supported at one end on said lase portion and having the opposite end closed and tee to swing by flexing, said tubular member being iormally disposed in a relatively straight attitude, neans forming a yieldable extendable side wall of said ubular member connected along the edges thereof vith a relatively non-extendable side of said member, .nd means to direct fluid into said tubular member inder pressure for causing extension of said extendable vall thereby curving said non-extendable side] I: 9. A structure as set forth in claim 3 in which said rxtendable wall comprises flexible material having ranlom folds therein when said member is in a relatively traight attitude.

10. An apparatus for gripping objects and the like comprising a base member, a pair oftubular members each supported at one end to said base member and normally extending relatively straight, each ofsaid tubular members being closed at its extended end and each comprising a yieldable extendable side wall connected along the edges thereof with a relatively non-extendable side of said member, and means to direct fluid into said tubular members under pressure for causing extension of said extendable walls thereofhereby curving said non-extendable sides, said tubular members being disposed with the non-extendable sides facing toward the other whereby said members curve in response to fluid pressure therein toward one another to grip an object therebetween.

II. An apparatus for supporting objects and the like comprising, two elongated rigid members arranged in end to end relation and connected by joint means comprising a tubular member having one side offlexible relatively non-extendable material and the opposite wall formed of flexible material and extendable in the direction said tubular members extend, means normally tending to maintain said members at a relatively substantial angle, and means for applying fluid pressure to said tubular member whereby said elongated wall thereofis extended and about said non extendable wall thereby causing relative angular movement between said members to decrease the normal angle therebetween.

12. A structure for gripping objects comprising a relatively rigid support element, a flexible hollow member having one end secured to said support element and the remainder thereof being free to flex, means to supply fluid under pressure to the interior ofsaid member, said flexible hollow member having an extendable wall adapted to elongate in response to fluid pressure applied inside said member, and flexible gripping means extending along one side of said extendable wall and connected therewith, said flexible gripping means being nomelongatable relative to said extendable wall whereby fluid pres sure applied to the interior ofsaid flexible member causes said extendable wall to elongate andflex about said grip ping means and curve said gripping means away from said extendable wall for embracing an object, and means normally urging said member and flexible means toward a non-curving position to release an object embraced by said gripping means.

13. A structure as defined in claim 12 in which said hollow member comprises a finger-like element closed at the end remote from said support element, and saidflexible gripping means comprises a side wall of said fingerlike element formed ofrelatively non-elongatable flexible material which tends to assume a substantially straight attitude when fluid pressure in said hollow member is relatively low.

I4. A structure as defined in claim 13 in which the exterior ofsaid side wall has an outer surface adapted to grip articles.

15. A structure as defined in claim 13 in which said extendable wall is comprised of corrugations extending transversely ofsaid extendable member.

16A structure as defined in claim 12 in which said extendable wall comprises a corrugated section having the corrugation thereof extending transversely of the direction ofelongatiort thereof.

17. A structure as set forth in claim 12 in which said extendable wall comprises flexible material having random folds therein when said member is in a relatively straight attitude.

18. An apparatusfor gripping objects and the like comprising a support member including a base portion, a flexible tubular member supported at one end on said base portion and having the opposite end closed and free to swing by flexing, said tubular member being normally disposed in a relatively straight attitude, means forming a yieldable extendable side wall of said tubular member connected along the edges thereof with a relatively nonextendable side ofsaid member, and means to direct fluid into said tubular member under pressure for causing extension of said extendable wall thereby curving said non-extendable side.

19. An apparatus for supporting objects and the like comprising, two longitudinally extensive rigid members arranged in end to end relation and connected by joint means comprising a tubular member having one side wall of relatively non-elongatable substantially flat material and the opposite side wall formed of bendable material elongatable in the direction said tubular members extend, means normally tending to maintain said members at a relatively substantial angle, and means for enabling a fluid pressure increase within said tubular member so that said elongatable wall thereof is extended and bends or curls about said non-elongatable wall causing relative angular movement between said members to decrease the normal angle therebetween.

20. A structure for gripping objects comprising a relatively rigid support, a bendable hollow member having one end secured to said support element and the remainder thereof being free to bend, means to provide a fluid pressure increase internally of said member, said bendable hollow member having a wall adapted to elongate in response to fluid pressure increase inside said member,

and bendable gripping means extending along one side of said wall and connected therewith, said gripping means being substantially flat and non-elongatable relative to said wall so that fluid pressure increases applied to the interior of said flexible member causes said wall to elongate and bend about said gripping means and curve said gripping means away from said wall for embracing an objectsand means normally urging said member toward a non-curving position to release an object embraced by said gripping means.

21. A structure as defined in claim 20 in which said hollow member comprises a finger-like element closed at the end remote from said support, and said gripping means comprises a side wall of said finger-like element formed of relatively non-elongatable material which tends to assume a substantially straight attitude when fluid pressure in said hollow member is relatively low.

22. A structure as defined in claim 21 in which the exterior of said side wall has an outer surface defining said gripping means adapted to grip articles.

23. A structure as defined in claim 2! in which said elongatable wall is comprised of corrugations extending transversely of said extendable member.

24. A structure as defined in claim 20 in which said elongatable wall comprises a corrugated section having the corrugations thereof extending transversely of the direction of elongation thereof.

25. A structure as set forth in claim 20 in which said elongatable wall comprises flexible material having random folds therein when said member is in a relatively straight attitude.

26.An apparatus for gripping objects and the like comprising a support member including a base portion, a bendable hollow member supported at one end on said base portion and having the opposite end closed and free to swing by bending, said hollow member being normally disposed in a relatively straight attitude, means forming an elongatable side wall of said tubular member connected along the edges thereof with a substantially flat relatively non-elongatable side of said member, and means to direct fluid into said hollow member under pressure for causing elongation of said elongatable wall thereby curving said non-elongatable side.

27. Article of manufacture comprising a base portion; a longitudinally extensive tubular member supported at one end portion of said base portion, said tubular member comprising, in turn, means forming an elongatable side wall projecting outwardly of said base portion, means forming a bendable substantially non-elongatable side wall projecting outwardly ofsaid base portion along and on one side of said extendable side wall and means connecting the edges and remote end portions thereof to gether in fluid impervious relationship; a quantity of fluid contained within said member and means for increasing the fluid pressure therein for causing elongation of said elongatable side wall and thereby curving said tubular member along said non-elongatable wall.

28. Article ofmanufizcture defined in claim 2 7 wherein said fluid pressure increasing means comprises conduit means mounted with said base portion for directing fluid under pressure into said tubular member.

29. Article ofmanufacture defined in claim 2 7 wherein said non-elongatable side wall is of generally straight configuration and comprises sufficient rigidity to support said tubular member when the fluid is unpressurized.

30. An apparatus for gripping objects and the like comprising a base member, a pair of tubular members each supported at one end to said base member and normally extending relatively straight, each of said tubular members being closed at its extended end and each comprising an elongatable side wall connected along the edges thereof with a relatively non-elongatable substantially flat side wall ofsaid member, and means to direct fluid into said tubular members under pressure for causing elongation ofsaid elongatable walls thereofthereby curving said non-elongatable sides, said tubular members being disposed with the non-elongatable sides facing towards each other whereby said members curve in response to increased fluid pressure therein toward one another to grip an object therebetween.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5332275 *Nov 27, 1991Jul 26, 1994Microscience Group, Inc.Microgripper
US5458387 *Mar 16, 1994Oct 17, 1995Microscience Group, Inc.Microgripper
US5538305 *May 25, 1995Jul 23, 1996Microscience Group, Inc.For gripping and releasing an object
US7770951 *Mar 30, 2006Aug 10, 2010Korea Electronics Technology InstituteMicro gripper and method for manufacturing the same
DE102011005859A1 *Mar 21, 2011Sep 27, 2012Leander Kilian GrossCylindrical object i.e. heavy cylindrical concrete sewer pipe, moving method, involves inflating body with medium, and forming body in positive connection with inner surface area of object, where object is moved with traction units
EP0312451A1 *Oct 12, 1988Apr 19, 1989ModepElement for holding by pincing and holding frame comprising it
WO1991006404A1 *Oct 24, 1990May 16, 1991Univ BristolControlled flexure element
Classifications
U.S. Classification294/119.3, 294/99.1, 294/196
International ClassificationB66C1/46, B25J15/00, B25J15/12
Cooperative ClassificationB25J15/0023, B25J15/0009, B66C1/46, B25J15/12
European ClassificationB25J15/00F, B25J15/12, B25J15/00B, B66C1/46