The SERC and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) created a unique “octopus” tentacle end effector for robotic systems that uses formable electro-adhesion (EA) and Gecko adhesion capture cloth material. REACCH, or Reactive Electro-Adhesive Capture ClotH, supports soft capture of objects of any size, shape, surface finish or material on-orbit. To-date the SERC/JPL team developed initial tentacles and backing spines that proved control of the EA/G material. Prototypes with two tentacles were built and demonstrated and tested on the SERC 3-DOF air bearing device in 1g in one plane of grip. The results showed promise to further develop this new type of grappling mechanism able to make first soft contact with an object, with a technology that merges compliance and control elements for future on-orbit servicing and assembly missions.

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