A novel, monolithic, contact-aided, displacement-delimited gripper is presented. It is designed to employ contact interactions between its deforming members to delimit the output displacement such that excessive forces on the soft, fragile work-pieces are thwarted. The mechanism is appropriated using the topology, shape, and size optimization algorithm which, in addition to yielding structural details, also determines the interacting members and nature of contact. The symmetric halves of this design can be actuated independently thus rendering it the manipulative capabilities in addition to gripping. A cantilevered flexible “U” structure when introduced between the gripper ports of this mechanism can yield additional benefits in terms of reduced gripping forces. Macroscale Teflon prototype of the mechanism is tested on various work-pieces having different stiffness properties. Using experimentally acquired vision data, reaction loads on the work-pieces and gripper ports are estimated probabilistically by solving a Dirichlet problem for continua undergoing large deformation.

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