Published December 1, 2021 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Towards an Open-Source Hardware Agnostic Framework for Robotic End-Effectors Control

  • 1. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia; University of Genova
  • 2. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia; Università di Pisa
  • 3. Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia


Nowadays a wide range of industrial grippers are available on the market and usually their integration to robotics automation systems relies on dedicated software modules and interfaces specific for each gripper. During the past two decades, more sophisticated end-effector modules that target to provide additional functionality including dexterous manipulation skills as well as sensing capabilities have been developed. The integration of these new devices is usually not trivial, requiring the development of brand new, tailor-made software modules and interfaces, which is a time consuming and certainly not efficient activity. To address the above issue and facilitate the quick integration and validation of the new end-effectors, we developed the ROS End-Effector open-source framework, which provides a software infrastructure capable to accommodate a range of robotic end-effectors of different hardware characteristics (number of fingers, actuators, sensing modules and communication protocols) and capabilities (with different manipulation skills, such as grasping, pinching, or independent finger dexterity) effectively facilitating their integration through the development of hardware agnostic software modules, simulation tools and application programming interfaces (APIs). A key feature of the ROS End-Effector framework is that rather than controlling each end-effector in a different and customized way, following specific protocols and instructions data fields, it masks the physical hardware differences and limitations (e.g., kinematics and dynamic model, actuator, sensor, update frequency, etc.) and permits to command the end-effector using a set of high level grasping primitives. The framework capabilities and flexibility in supporting different robotics end-effectors are demonstrated both in a kinematic/dynamic simulation and in real hardware experiments.



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ROSIN – ROS-Industrial quality-assured robot software components 732287
European Commission