A variable compliance, soft gripper

M. E. Giannaccini, I. Georgilas, I. Horsfield, B. H P M Peiris, A. Lenz, A. G. Pipe, S. Dogramadzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (SciVal)


Autonomous grasping is an important but challenging task and has therefore been intensively addressed by the robotics community. One of the important issues is the ability of the grasping device to accommodate varying object shapes in order to form a stable, multi-point grasp. Particularly in the human environment, where robots are faced with a vast set of objects varying in shape and size, a versatile grasping device is highly desirable. Solutions to this problem have often involved discrete continuum structures that typically comprise of compliant sections interconnected with mechanically rigid parts. Such devices require a more complex control and planning of the grasping action than intrinsically compliant structures which passively adapt to complex shapes objects. In this paper, we present a low-cost, soft cable-driven gripper, featuring no stiff sections, which is able to adapt to a wide range of objects due to its entirely soft structure. Its versatility is demonstrated in several experiments. In addition, we also show how its compliance can be passively varied to ensure a compliant but also stable and safe grasp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
JournalAutonomous Robots
Issue number1-2
Early online date1 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Continuum robot
  • Grasping
  • Shape invariant grasping
  • Soft robotics
  • Variable compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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