Industrial Design Approach Exemplified on Zoo-kinematic Robotic End Effectors

Speaker:Axel Thallemer
Seminar Date:12/04/2017
Seminar Venue:EA LT7A
In the course of evaluating the biological grippers by analytical classification, the opening mechanism of birds’ beaks proved to be particularly promising. This mechanical principle was first described by Franz Reuleaux in the second half of the 19th century. More than 100 years later, in the 1990s, Schilling and Zimmermann re-interpreted the biological paragon by translating the three-dimensional kinematic into a two-dimensional Watt’s linkage. About 20 years later it was designed and additively fabricated in Titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V). These grippers are actuated by artificial muscles co-developed by the speaker for Festo. Video: Dynamic display of the three zoo-kinematic grippers at Hannover Industrial Fair: For the full abstract, please visit

Prof. Dipl.-Ing. (Univ.) Axel Thallemer is Full Professor with tenure at the National University of Singapore and Deputy Head of Research for Industrial Design. In his fifteen years of industry practice he was acting at the Research and Development Center of Porsche, followed by founding and heading Festo Corporate Design, since then freelance consulting for the industry. Precursory professorships were in Munich, Hamburg and Austria (Dean and Chair of Industrial Design at Linz university, scientifically repositioning under the brand “scionic®”), currently there are 16 additional visiting professorships and about 35 patents. Life Fellow of The RSA in London, founded 1754 and i/IDSA, reviewer for ICED, IEEE as well as ICoRD and Journal of Engineering Design, JED.