New Suction Cup Manipulator

June 22, 2023
The suction cup manipulator.

The flat chevrons of this year are extremely difficult to manipulate with a standard claw-style gripper. Thus, the team has decided to make use of an underwater suction cup. Creating a rotary pump from a Blue Trail T200 thruster and a 3D-printed shell, we are able to create a continuous pressure differential and a strong suction force on the chevrons, allowing for easy manipulation. The key advantage for this over a standard underwater suction cup is the ability to use a bellowed suction cup as our end effector. This means that when we're approaching the chevron, we have about a 30 degree range of orientations normal to the surface in which we are able to still maintain full suction on the chevron.

The shrouded T200 thruster.