Kinematic evaluation of end effector design
Edwards, Gary W.
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The complex, many degree-of-freedom end effectors at the leading edge of technology would be unusable in the sea bottom research environment. Simpler designs are required to provide adequate reliability for subsea use. This work examines selection of end effector designs to achieve optimum grasping ability with minimal mechanical complexity. A new method of calculating grasp stability is developed, incorporating elements of previous works in the field. Programs are developed which evaluate the ability of different end effector configurations to grasp representative objects (a cube, sphere and infinite cylinder). End effector designs considered had circular palms with fingers located at the periphery, oriented so that each pointed to the center of the palm. The program tested configurations of from 1 to 4 fingers and from 1 to 3 links per finger. Three sets of finger proportions were considered: equal length links, half length links, and anthropomorphic proportions. The 2 finger, 2 link per finger configuration was determined to be the optimum design, and the half length proportions were selected as the best set of proportions.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Ocean Engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1992
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