An adaptive grabber with the ability to actively switch between accurate grabbing and compliant grabbing

Student: Xuantong Wang
Table: ENG1
Experimentation location: Home
Regulated Research (Form 1c): No
Project continuation (Form 7): No

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[9] M. V. Liarokapis and A. M. Dollar, "Learning task-specific models for dexterous, in-hand manipulation with simple, adaptive robot hands," 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2016, pp. 2534-2541, DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2016.7759394.

[10] Y. -J. Kim, Y. -J. Jeong, H. -S. Jeon, D. -W. Lee and J. -I. Kim, "Development of a soft robotic glove with high gripping force using force distributing compliant structures," 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2017, pp. 3883-3890, DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2017.8206240.

[11] J. H. Low et al., "A compliant modular robotic hand with fabric force sensor for multiple versatile grasping modes," 2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), 2016, pp. 1230-1235, DOI: 10.1109/BIOROB.2016.7523799.

[12] T. Nishimura, K. Mizushima, Y. Suzuki, T. Tsuji, and T. Watanabe, "Variable-Grasping-Mode Underactuated Soft Gripper With Environmental Contact-Based Operation," in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 1164-1171, April 2017, DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2017.2662086.

[13] G. P. Kontoudis, M. Liarokapis and K. G. Vamvoudakis, "An Adaptive, Humanlike Robot Hand with Selective Interdigitation: Towards Robust Grasping and Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation," 2019 IEEE-RAS 19th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), 2019, pp. 251-258, DOI: 10.1109/Humanoids43949.2019.9035037.

[14] Hermann Katharina,” A Joint-Selective Robotic Gripper with Actuation Mode Switching” IEEE Trans. International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering Vol. 19, pp. 1532-1539 2019

[15] Zhou Jianshu, “A Soft-Robotic Gripper With Enhanced Object Adaptation and Grasping Reliability” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 2287-2293, October 2017

[16] María F. Mogro. Dario J. Mendoza, Angel M. López, “Adaptive Gripper Controlled with Linear Micro Actuator for Correct Fastening of Objects of Variant Forms” International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2020.

[17] Mega 2560:

[18] L298N:

[19] J. Morrow, A. Kothari, Y. H. Ong, N. Harlan, R. Balasubramanian, and C. Grimm, "Using human studies to analyze capabilities of underactuated and compliant hands in manipulation tasks," 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2018, pp. 2949-2954, DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2018.8594344.

[20] A. Kakogawa, H. Nishimura and S. Ma, "Underactuated modular finger with pull-in mechanism for a robotic gripper," 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2016, pp. 556-561, DOI: 10.1109/ROBIO.2016.7866381.

[21] C. B. Teeple, G. R. Kim, M. A. Graule and R. J. Wood, "An Active Palm Enhances Dexterity of Soft Robotic In-Hand Manipulation," 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2021, pp. 11790-11796, DOI: 10.1109/ICRA48506.2021.9562049.

[22] K. Morino, S. Kikuchi, S. Chikagawa, M. Izumi and T. Watanabe, "Sheet-Based Gripper Featuring Passive Pull-In Functionality for Bin Picking and for Picking Up Thin Flexible Objects," in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 2007-2014, April 2020, DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2020.2970630.

[23] K. Sasaki, K. Koyama, A. Ming, M. Shimojo, R. Plateaux, and J. Choley, "Robotic Grasping Using Proximity Sensors for Detecting both Target Object and Support Surface," 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2018, pp. 2925-2932, DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2018.8594430.

[24] A. T. Mathew, I. Hussain, C. Stefanini, I. M. Ben Hmida, and F. Renda, "ReSoft Gripper: A reconfigurable soft gripper with monolithic fingers and differential mechanism for versatile and delicate grasping," 2021 IEEE 4th International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft), 2021, pp. 372-378, DOI: 10.1109/RoboSoft51838.2021.9479341.

[25] H. Liu, L. Zhao, B. Siciliano, and F. Ficuciello, "Modeling, Optimization, and Experimentation of the ParaGripper for In-Hand Manipulation Without Parasitic Rotation," in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 3011-3018, April 2020, DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2020.2974419.

[26] C. Liu, G. Huang, C. Chiu, and T. Chen, "Topology and size optimization of an adaptive compliant gripper to maximize the geometric advantage," 2016 IEEE International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM), 2016, pp. 1145-1150, DOI: 10.1109/AIM.2016.7576924.

[27] S Kaviyarasan and I Infanta Mary Priya 2018 IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 402 012043

[28] J. Chapman et al., "A Locally-Adaptive, Parallel-Jaw Gripper with Clamping and Rolling Capable, Soft Fingertips for Fine Manipulation of Flexible Flat Cables," 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2021, pp. 6941-6947, DOI: 10.1109/ICRA48506.2021.9561970.”

[29] M. Guarnieri, I. Takao, E. F. Fukushima, and S. Hirose, "HELIOS VIII search and rescue robot: Design of an adaptive gripper and system improvements," 2007 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2007, pp. 1775-1780, DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2007.4399372.

[30] N. Elangovan, A. Dwivedi, L. Gerez, C. Chang and M. Liarokapis, "Employing IMU and ArUco Marker Based Tracking to Decode the Contact Forces Exerted by Adaptive Hands," 2019 IEEE-RAS 19th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), 2019, pp. 525-530, DOI: 10.1109/Humanoids43949.2019.9035051.

[31] W. G. Bircher and A. M. Dollar, "Design Principles and Optimization of a Planar Underactuated Hand for Caging Grasps," 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019, pp. 1608-1613, DOI: 10.1109/ICRA.2019.8793465.

Additional Project Information

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Research Plan:


Currently, there are a lot of kinds of robotic hands. Some of them are used in the industrial area. These robotic hands are precise and accurate. But at the same time, they are also very complex and expensive. Other robotic hands are mainly used in the civil field. These hands don't need to be perfectly accurate. Their function is to grab stuff in people's daily life. However, some of them can only grab objects with specific shapes. Others have a complex structure which causes their price to be pretty high and very difficult to repair. Under this condition, I want to create a robotic hand that has a relatively simple structure while functional at the same time.


This robotic hand can grab most of the daily items which have proper size and weight compared to it. By proper, I mean not too big or heavy.


1. Read other articles on robotic hands which are similar to the hands I am gonna make.

2. Come up with a theoretical design: don't need to be detailed. Focus on the theory. How are the hand going to grab things?  How to make sure it can grab things with different shapes.

3. Begin to design the hand. Do the 3D drawing of the first draft. It should include all the details.

4. After drawing the 3D drawing, begin to make the real hand. For some parts, 3D printing is used.

5. Test the first design: Use the hand to grab several objects in daily life to test its grabbing ability. Objects shouldn't all have regular shapes like spheres or cubes, but unregular shapes instead. During the experiment, find the points that still need to revise. When the hand fails to grab the object, find the reason for it.

6. According to the problem found in the first design, revise the draft and create the second design.

7. Build the second hand and Test the hand in the procedure same with step 5. Check if all the problems in the first design are fixed and find the new problems

8. If the new problems are acceptable or there are no new problems, try to revise them without building a new hand. If the problems are not fixed and the new problem is too big and it's difficult to revise. Then a new design needs to be preposed. The procedure later is the repeat of steps 5-8.

Questions and Answers

1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it? 

       a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?  

       b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis?

1. I am looking forward to designing a more flexible robotic hand which is not only good at grabbing things like other robotic hands but also good at transform grasping modes. Normal robotic hands now may have a perfect grabbing ability, but they lack the ability to grab things in a different but more proper ways. For instance, they are not good at pinching things. They cannot grab a nut easily. To solve this problem, I made my own hand which have three grasping modes that can cover most of the grabbing in daily life.


2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?

       a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.

2. The main task is that this hand should be able to grab daily things with normal size. By grabbing I mean to hold them tightly instead of just slightly embrace them. These things can have varied shapes and they should. The second task is to simplify the hand. Both in structure design and actuating design. I definitely don't want a hand with 100 different pieces. By structural design I mean stuffs which are not designed to move like the outer shell. Correspondingly, the actuating part includes all the things which are designed to move like gears and motors. The final task is to lower the cost of the hand. The cost of the hand should be smaller than 150 dollars.


3. What is new or novel about your project?

       a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?

       b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?

       c. If you believe your work to be unique in some way, what research have you done to confirm that it is?

3. Since this is an engineering project, the thing new is that it can provide a better grabbing as I wrote in the previous question. However, the building and learning process is quite different. Usually, for instance, learning math, I first learn about the concepts and equations, then begin to solve the questions. However, an engineering project is quite difference. I first try my best to design, then learn from the problems of my project. For instance, I first draw all the holes the exact size. However, the 3D printing is not precise. Then I learn that I should left error for the size of the holes, and I solve the problem in my second design.



4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?

      a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?

      b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?

4. The biggest challenge I met in this project is to determine the best design. When I am designing the hand, I need to decide a lot of sizes. For instance, I can make the length of the finger to be 40cm or 50cm. However, I need to find a most proper point. Finding that point not an easy job. That's why I have a two design. The first design is terrible with all kinds of problems. So, I made the second design which focus on solving the problems performed in the first one. I realized that experiment is the only way to test the performance and find the problems. Without testing, it is impossible to find all the error.


5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?

5. Yes, with the experience, I can design a better hand, better than the current one. For instance, I will make the hand look better next time. I will redesign the outer shell and hide the sensors.


6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects? 

Yes. It is a valuable experience in my life. I learned how to design things, how to do 3D drawings, how to use arduino... All these will be helpful for other projects.


7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?

Because of COIVD-19, I finish this project back in China. But besides from that, there isn't any difference.