Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

December 1989


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-89-51.


Many robotic hands have been designed and a number have been built. Because of the difficulty of controlling and using complex hands, which usually have nine or more degrees of freedom, the simple one- or two-degree-of-freedom gripper is still the most common robotic end effector. This thesis presents a new category of device: a medium-complexity end effector. With three to five degrees of freedom, such a tool is much easier to control and use, as well as more economical, compact and lightweight than complex hands. In order to increase the versatility, it was necessary to identify grasping primitives and to implement them in the mechanism. In addition, power and enveloping grasps are stressed over fingertip and precision grasps. The design is based upon analysis of object apprehension types, requisite characteristics for active sensing, and a determination of necessary environmental interactions. Contained in this thesis are the general concepts necessary to the design of a medium-complexity end effector, an analysis of typica.1 performance, and a computer simulation of a grasp planning algorithm specific to this type of mechanism. Finally, some details concerning the UPenn Hand - a tool designed for the research laboratory - are presented.



Date Posted: 25 January 2008