In the evolving landscape of robotic technology in the food industry, particularly with delicate and small food items like seafood, there exists a notable challenge in handling these items with precision and care. Traditional robotic grippers often fall short in versatility and delicacy, particularly for smaller food items. Addressing this gap, Northeastern researchers have developed a novel robotic end-effector that revolutionizes the way delicate food items are manipulated.


Northeastern researchers have created an innovative robotic end-effector, inspired by the dexterity and delicacy of chopsticks. This invention features dual chopstick-like appendages, each outfitted with a sophisticated 6-axis Force/Torque sensor at the base, enabling precise and gentle manipulation of a diverse range of food items, from beans to bulkier items like bananas. The appendages, crafted from easily replaceable aluminum, offer an unparalleled combination of precision, hygiene, and versatility. This breakthrough is set to transform various processes in the food industry, providing a solution that is both highly adaptable and sensitive to the demands of food handling.  


  • Unmatched adaptability to various food types and sizes, from beans to larger, bulkier items.
  • Advanced tactile feedback for precise force application at the tips of the appendages, crucial for handling delicate food items.
  • Capability to rotate food items on a flat surface, offering enhanced manipulation without the need for rotating the entire end-effector.
  • Easy maintenance and sterilization, thanks to the detachable nature of the chopstick-like appendages.


  • Highly applicable across the general food processing industry, especially for handling delicate items.
  • Tailored for use in the seafood processing industry, adept at managing small and fragile seafood products.
  • Perfect for precision-oriented food packing processes, improving efficiency and accuracy.
  • Valuable as a research tool in exploring advanced robotic manipulation.
  • Potential application in assistive technology, particularly as a meal-assistance robot for people with mobility impairments
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Taskin Padir
Nathaniel Hanson
Sebastian Wicke
Austin Allison
Food packaging
Force Sensor