This paper presents grasping mechanism configurations that are self-centering with balanced reaction forces, and develops the design principles, models, and analysis methods of achieving these characteristics in compliant mechanisms. The configurations emulate the self-centering and balanced actuation force characteristics exhibited by hydraulic disc-brake systems. Purely mechanical grasping systems, in which both the mechanism and the object being grasped are rigidly attached to ground, require 2 degrees of freedom in the grasping mechanism. It is shown that compliant configurations can exhibit the balanced-force behavior as well as rigid-link mechanisms.

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