Design and development of a bio-inspired, under-actuated soft gripper


T. Hassan, M. Manti, G. Passetti, N. d'Elia, M. Cianchetti, and C. Laschi, “Design and development of a bio-inspired, under-actuated soft gripper,” EMBC, 2015.


The development of robotic devices able to perform manipulation tasks mimicking the human hand has been assessed on large scale. This work stands in the challenging scenario where soft materials are combined with bio-inspired design in order to develop soft grippers with improved grasping and holding capabilities. We are going to show a low-cost, under-actuated and adaptable soft gripper, highlighting the design and the manufacturing process. In particular, a critical analysis is made among three versions of the gripper with same design and actuation mechanism, but based on different materials. A novel actuation principle has been implemented in both cases, in order to reduce the encumbrance of the entire system and improve its aesthetics. Grasping and holding capabilities have been tested for each device, with target objects varying in shape, size and material. Results highlight synergy between the geometry and the intrinsic properties of the soft material, showing the way to novel design principles for soft grippers.

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