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Patent for Our Multi-fingered Servo Gripper
and Programmable Fixture

(Issued August 14, 2001)

United States Patent No. 6,273,483
Three orthogonal directions movable fingers for holding and/or manipulating a three-dimensional object


A robotic gripper for fixturing and manipulating a sheet of substantially rigid material, e.g. a sheet metal part, has three fingers with circumferential grooves thereon. Each of the fingers has three degrees of movement. The sheet metal part has at least one opening of a size suited to accommodate one of the fingers. The other fingers can engage the edges of other openings in the sheet metal part or the outside edge of the part. The fingers can be moved away from each other or towards each other respectively depending on the positioning of the fingers, whereby the sheet metal part is fixtured by means of the grooves of the fingers. By using three fingers each having three degrees of movement, and having grooves thereon, an object can be held and kinematically locked without the application of force.

Details (PDF files)

Front page of the patent (152k PDF file).

All 18 pages of the patent (1.7 meg PDF file).

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