This paper presents the design, simulation, and testing of a compliant gripper that can provide a constant gripping force to handle objects of various sizes. Maintaining a proper gripping force is challenging when manipulating delicate objects with uncertain sizes and stiffnesses. To avoid damage and provide a stable grip of an object, force feedback is often required so that the gripping force can be directly or indirectly regulated. Without using additional sensors and control, the proposed gripper passively maintains a constant prespecified contact force between fingertip and object. The gripper is designed to have a constant input force generated by a constant-force mechanism (CFM). Transmitted through a statically balanced (SB) mechanism, a constant gripping force is obtained at the fingertip. After a formulation to find the optimal gripper configuration, the design is verified through comparison with simulation results. Finally, a prototype of the constant-force gripper is demonstrated. The novel gripper is expected to serve as a reliable alternative for object manipulation.

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