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Dynamic Capture Using a Traplike Soft Gripper With Stiffness Anisotropy

Yang, Shangkui; Zhou, Yongxiang; Walker, Ian D.; Yang, Chenghao; Branson, David T.; Song, Zhibin; Dai, Jian Sheng; Kang, Rongjie

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Shangkui Yang

Yongxiang Zhou

Ian D. Walker

Chenghao Yang

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Professor of Dynamics and Control

Zhibin Song

Jian Sheng Dai

Rongjie Kang


Dynamic capture is a common skill that humans have practiced extensively but is a challenging task for robots in which sensing, planning, and actuation must be tightly coordinated to deal with targets of diverse shapes, sizes, and velocity. In particular, the impact force may cause serious damage to a rigid gripper and even its carrier, e.g., a robotic arm. Existing soft grippers suffer from low speed and force to actively respond to capturing dynamic targets. In this article, we propose a soft gripper capable of efficient capture of dynamic targets, taking inspiration from the biological structures of multitentacled animals or plants. The presented gripper uses a cluster of tentacles to achieve an omnidirectional envelope and high tolerance to dynamic target during the capturing process. In addition, a stiffness anisotropy property is implemented to the tentacle structure to form a “trap” making it easy for the targets to enter yet difficult to escape. We also present an analytical model for the tentacle structure to describe its deformation during the collision with a target. In experiments, we construct a robotic prototype and demonstrate its ability to capture dynamic targets.


Yang, S., Zhou, Y., Walker, I. D., Yang, C., Branson, D. T., Song, Z., …Kang, R. (2023). Dynamic Capture Using a Traplike Soft Gripper With Stiffness Anisotropy. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 28(3), 1337-1346.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 30, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 15, 2022
Publication Date 2023-06
Deposit Date Nov 17, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 17, 2022
Journal IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Print ISSN 1083-4435
Electronic ISSN 1941-014X
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 3
Pages 1337-1346
Keywords Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Science Applications, Control and Systems Engineering
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