Preliminary design of a three-finger underactuated adaptive end effector with a breakaway clutch mechanism
Commercially available robotic grippers are often expensive and not easy to modify for specific purposes of robotics research and education. To extend the choice of robotic end effectors available to researchers, this paper presents the preliminary work on prototype design and analysis of a three-finger underactuated robotic end effector with a breakaway clutch mechanism suitable for research in robot manipulation of objects for industrial and service applications. Kinematic models of the finger and the breakaway clutch mechanisms are analyzed aiming to define selection criteria of design parameters. Grasping performance of the end effector prototype manufactured with a 3D printing technology and off-the-shelf components is evaluated using simulation and experimental analyses. Comparison with widely applied available robotic end effectors shows the potential advantages of the proposed end effector design.