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Robotics Laboratory

Adaptive Grippers

Underactuation in robotic fingers, with less actuators than degrees of freedom, leads to a very particular mechanical behaviour where the finger adapts mechanically to the object seized. This shape adaptation allows to grasp irregularly shaped or unknown objects without any dedicated control or even sensors. Grippers built using this technique are therefore mechanically intelligent.

The analysis and control of these mechanisms are challenging and despite being known for centuries, adaptive mechanisms have yet to be thoroughly studied. Our knowledge of their properties is still very shallow. It is the objective of the lab to lead internationally the research on adaptive grippers and their applications. We have been and are currently still developing new prototypes for a vast range of applications including industrial manipulation and surgery (cf. example below).

Compliant gripper:


Teleoperated compliant gripper in polycaprolactone (PCL) with proprioceptive tactile feedback:

Compliant Teleoperated Gripper

New architecture made with rapid prototyping:





Presented during the 2010 International Workshop on Underactuated Grasping (UG2010)

Video: Youtube link


Self-Adaptive Fingers Transforming Industrial Grippers into Underactuated Hands :

Adaptive Fingers

Video of the prototype: Youtube link

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