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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 949834, 22 pages
Research Article

Parallel-Distributed Model Deformation in the Fingertips for Stable Grasping and Object Manipulation

1Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad de los Andes, Av. San Carlos de Apoquindo 2200, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
2Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Universidad de Chile, Av. Tupper 2007, Santiago, Chile

Received 27 April 2012; Revised 13 July 2012; Accepted 25 July 2012

Academic Editor: J. Rodellar

Copyright © 2012 R. García-Rodríguez and G. Díaz-Rodríguez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study on the human grip has inspired to the robotics over the past decades, which has resulted in performance improvements of robotic hands. However, current robotic hands do not have the enough dexterity to execute complex tasks. Recognizing this fact, the soft fingertips with hemispherical shape and deformation models have renewed attention of roboticists. A high-friction contact to prevent slipping and the rolling contribution between the object and fingers are some characteristics of the soft fingertips which are useful to improve the grasping stability. In this paper, the parallel distributed deformation model is used to present the dynamical model of the soft tip fingers with n-degrees of freedom. Based on the joint angular positions of the fingers, a control scheme that fuses a stable grasping and the object manipulation into a unique control signal is proposed. The force-closure conditions are defined to guarantee a stable grasping and the boundedness of the closed-loop signals is proved. Furthermore, the convergence of the contact force to its desired value is guaranteed, without any information about the radius of the fingertip. Simulation results are provided to visualize the stable grasping and the object manipulation, avoiding the gravity effect.