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The ‘plyon tactile gripper’ enables conventional industrial grippers to be equipped with an intelligent sense of touch. The sensor allows gripping tools to determine how securely the workpiece has been picked up and what position it is in simply by means of touching it. Within milliseconds, the technology can detect if the object is contorted or slipping. The object can be readjusted accordingly by changing the gripping force applied. This virtually eliminates any damage from excessive pressure from the grippers or as a result of the object falling. The system also detects any irregularities with the grip, thereby helping prevent malfunctions during the production process.

The patented plyon sensor technology has already won the German Innovation Award 2019 . The technology measures physical approaches of objects and normal forces. The flat, flexible sensor can be mounted on practically any surface. Startup tacterion, a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), sees the ‘plyon tactile gripper’ as just one of many possible applications for its sensor technology.