REACCH (Reactive Electro-Adhesion Capture ClotH)
The SERC along with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) created a unique “octopus” tentacle end effector for robotic systems that uses formable electro-adhesion (EA) and Gecko adhesion pads. REACCH, or Reactive Electro-Adhesive Capture ClotH, supports soft capture of objects of any size, shape, surface finish or material after launch on-orbit. The SERC/JPL team developed 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 very successful as a new type of grappling mechanism and architecture 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.