Robotics (Oct 2023)

Improving the Grasping Force Behavior of a Robotic Gripper: Model, Simulations, and Experiments

  • Giuseppe Vitrani,
  • Simone Cortinovis,
  • Luca Fiorio,
  • Marco Maggiali,
  • Rocco Antonio Romeo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 6
p. 148


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Robotic grippers allow industrial robots to interact with the surrounding environment. However, control architectures of the grasping force are still rare in common industrial grippers. In this context, one or more sensors (e.g., force or torque sensors) are necessary. However, the incorporation of such sensors might heavily affect the cost of the gripper, regardless of its type (e.g., pneumatic or electric). An alternative approach could be open-loop force control strategies. Hence, this work proposes an approach for optimizing the open-loop grasping force behavior of a robotic gripper. For this purpose, a specialized robotic gripper was built, as well as its mathematical model. The model was employed to predict the gripper performance during both static and dynamic force characterization, simulating grasping tasks under different experimental conditions. Both simulated and experimental results showed that by managing the mechanical properties of the finger–object contact interface (e.g., stiffness), the steady-state force variability could be greatly reduced, as well as undesired effects such as finger bouncing. Further, the object’s size is not required unlike most of the grasping approaches for industrial rigid grippers, which often involve high finger velocities. These results may pave the way toward conceiving cheaper and more reliable open-loop force control techniques for use in robotic grippers.