Robustness is a limiting factor in experimental development of multifingered robot hands: the expense and fragility of these hands precludes casual experimentation, restricting the type of experimental tasks that can be reasonably attempted and slowing implementation due to the need for careful validation of programs. In this paper, we describe the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a novel compliant robotic grasper and demonstrate that polymer-based Shape Deposition Manufacturing allows for the construction of fingers with the functionality of conventional metal prototypes but with robustness properties that allow for uncertainty in object location and large impact forces.

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