This paper demonstrates that the predicted grasp stability is highly sensitive to only small changes in the character of the contact forces. The contribution of the geometry and stiffness at the contact points to the grasp stability is investigated by a planar grasp with three contact points. Limit cases of zero and infinite contact curvatures, and finite to infinite contact stiffnesses are considered. The stability is predicted based on the approach of Howard and Kumar [1], and verified with multibody dynamic simulations. For rigid objects and fingers with only normal contact stiffness, the grasp stability is dominated by the contact geometry, whereas the local contact stiffness and preload have a minor effect. Furthermore, grasps with pointed finger tips are more likely to be stable than grasps with flat finger tips.

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