CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio


  • Gualtiero FantoniEmail author
  • Marco Santochi
Reference work entry



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).

Extended Definition

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).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Fantoni G, Santochi M, Dini G, Tracht K, Scholz-Reiter B, Fleischer J, Kristoffer Lien T, Seliger G, Reinhart G, Franke J, Nørgaard Hansen H, Verl A (2014) Grasping devices and methods in automated production processes. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 63(2):679–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Krüger J, Lien TK, Verl A (2009) Cooperation of human and machines in assembly lines. CIRP Ann Manuf Technol 58(2):628–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Monkman GJ, Hesse S, Steinmann R, Schunk H (2007) Robot grippers. Weinheim, Wiley-VCHGoogle Scholar
  4. Tichem M, Lang D, Karpuschewski B (2003) A classification scheme for quantitative analysis of micro-grip principles. In: Proceedings of the 1st international precision assembly seminar (IPAS’2003), Bad Hofgastein, 17–19 Mar 2003Google Scholar
  5. van Brussel H, Peirs J, Reynaerts D et al (2000) Assembly of microsystems, keynote paper. CIRP Ann 49(2):451–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of PisaLargo Lucio LazzarinoPisaItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joerg Krueger
    • 1
  1. 1.IWFTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany