A shape-compliant gripper is proposed that incorporates a matrix array of actuating probes into the fingers. This allows the robot to grasp one of many objects of different surface shapes having arbitrary location and orientation within the grasping envelope. The probes produce a range image by measuring distances between the object’s surface and the sensor plane. The range data is made available to a computer for addressing the problem of identification and localization for flexible assembly, bin sorting, inspection, or other applications.

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