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Electrostatic Discharge is an important problem when working with electronic components just like PCB. Manipulating those devices can be a challenge when we look at automation since there is a lot of electronic components around.

Manipulating PCB with our grippers
Our grippers are grounded through the robot ground and the fingertips are isolated from the rest of the gripper. So if your workstation, boards and robot (which it is initially) is uncharged, there shouldn't be any problem for manipulating PCB.

ESD Control Standards
However, it is possible for you to respect the ESD control standards by modifying or manufacturing the fingertips.

We have the CAD models and measurements to be able to design your own fingertip s. According to the standard, you would simply need to ground the fingertip through the specified resistance (typically 1 megaOhm) using an external cable.

From the EOS/ESD Association website, you can find more info on how to avoid any risk related to ESD.

Here are the six basic principles of static control:

  1. Design in protection
  2. Define the level of control needed in your environment
  3. Identify and define the electrostatic protected areas (EPA)
  4. Reduce electrostatic charge generation
  5. Dissipate and neutralize
  6. Protect products
Anyone using our gripper to manipulate PCB?
Feel free to share your experiences.

Catherine Bernier, Jr. Eng. 


  • Samuel_BouchardSamuel_Bouchard Posts: 150 Handy
    @Ryan_Weaver you guys have had such an application in the past, right? How did you manage to use the gripper in an ESD sensitive application?

  • Catherine_BernierCatherine_Bernier Posts: 144 Handy
    @Grady_Turner Anything on your side to make the gripper ESD Safe?

    Catherine Bernier, Jr. Eng. 
  • Grady_TurnerGrady_Turner Founding Pro, Partner, Beta Tester VIsion 1.1 Program, Wrist Camera URCap 1.3.0 Posts: 67 Handy
    @Catherine_Bernier  @Samuel_Bouchard   We have not run into any ESD applications as yet.  Sorry I can't offer any information
  • Etienne_SamsonEtienne_Samson Beta Tester Beetle, Wrist Camera URCap 1.3.0, Vacuum Beta tester Posts: 419 Handy
    @Catherine_Bernier @Samuel_Bouchard @Grady_Turner I have seen some of our customer doing ESD applications, they had to modify the Grippers, since our finger are floating, we are not ESD safe, the only thing you need to do is to attach a conducting wire that runs from the fingertip to the ground. Then we would be ESD safe (if you fingertip are conductive).

    Below is a picture from the instruction manual that will help you out, you can see that the Gripper casing is linked to the GND, but not the fingers: 

    Etienne Samson
    Technical Support Director
    +1 418-380-2788 ext. 207
    [email protected]
  • kilnickikilnicki Partner Posts: 2 Recruit
    I was wondering if Universal Robots are somehow protected to work in ESD sensitive application?
    As I understand, the gripper have to be grounded to ensure no Electrostatic Discharges, but what about the robot arm itself?

    Krzysztof Ilnicki
    Product Manager at
    Encon-Koester Wroclaw, Poland
  • That's a good question @kilnicki. Let's see what UR thinks of it, @Stefan_Stubgaard.


    Catherine Bernier, Jr. Eng. 
  • Yes, UR robots can work in ESD sensitive applications.

    Robot arm is grounded through the cable from controlbox, controlbox needs to have a proper ground connection, this is good practice for all applications.

    UR3, UR5 and UR10 CB3 robots have recently been cleanroom certified by TüV and conforms with ISO 14644-1: http://www.universal-robots.com/about-universal-robots/news-centre/universal-robots-now-certified-for-applications-in-cleanroom-environments/ which will allow them to operate in electronics industry

    Robot arms are cleanroom class 5 and controlbox is cleanroom class 6

  • matthewd92matthewd92 Founding Pro, Tactile Sensor Beta Testers Posts: 1,261 Handy
    @Stefan_Stubgaard that is good news regarding the clean room and ESD.  Thank you for sharing that with us
  • carrondocarrondo Partner Posts: 6 Apprentice
    @Stefan_Stubgaard any plan to update also the plastic covers?
  • balpetterbalpetter Posts: 2 Recruit
    I've recently been on UR training and this topic emerged there as well.

    We've got a promise that the plastic covers will be upgraded with ESD safe material in a few months as of more customers had this request towards UR.

  • Stefan_StubgaardStefan_Stubgaard Posts: 43 Handy
     @carrondo and @matthewd92 I can give you no fixed timeline, but can confirm that Universal Robots are currently working on ESD-safe lids (it shouldn't stop you from purchasing UR robots of course :) , as the lids (if required) easily can be replaced later in the process)
  • carrondocarrondo Partner Posts: 6 Apprentice
    @matthewd92 and @Stefan_Stubgaard thanks for your additions. Ourselves we're requesting this for quite some time and waiting for news.

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