Compliant mechanisms have many advantages over their rigid-body counterparts. One disadvantage however is the fact that motion of the mechanism is associated with elastic energy storage in the compliant parts. This is a problem especially in cases where accurate force transmission is of primary concern, such as in medical graspers. A solution to this problem is to statically balance the elastic forces by the addition of a spring force compensation mechanism, such that the effect of the compliance is neutralized. The complete resulting mechanisms resulting from this concept are called statically balanced compliant mechanisms (SBCMs). This paper presents a feasibility study into the design of a grasper for medical purposes and demonstrates that the concept is possible and practically viable. It is shown that the compliant gripper of a laparoscopic forceps can be statically balanced with a single-piece compliant compensation mechanism, with a balancing error of only 0.03N while dimensions are such that the compensation part of the mechanism can be stored inside the hand grip of the instrument.

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