Grasping is defined as a series of handling operations which provide forces and torques necessary to get and maintain the part in a relative position and orientation with respect to the grasping device (e.g., tweezers for small parts or vacuum cups for flat and nonporous objects). The end effector that exerts the grasping is called “gripper” and it is also used in cases of holding rather than actual grasping (Monkman et al. 2007).
Nowadays several factors such as the increasing cost of human labor, the spread of automation and the decreasing cost of robotic systems have pushed both industry to the adoption of grasping systems to automate many production processes in different fields. While in the past robot hands and industrial grippers were oriented to achieve different goals, nowadays the gap is reduced and it is often difficult to distinguish a simplified robotic human-like hand from a complex industrial gripper (Krüger et al. 2009).
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