With the goal of improving the performance of underactuated robotic hands in grasping, we investigate the influence of the underlying coupling mechanism on the robustness of underactuated hands to external disturbance. This paper identifies unique behaviors in the hand’s response as a function of the coupling mechanism and the actuation mode the hand is operated in. Specifically, we show that in conditions when the actuator position is fixed, hands with single-acting mechanisms exhibit a bimodal behavior in contrast to hands with double-acting mechanisms that exhibit a unimodal behavior. We then present an analysis of how these behaviors influence grasping capability of the hand and then discuss implications for underactuated hand design and operation.

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