Passive force closure and its computation in compliant-rigid grasps

Amir Shapiro, Elon Rimon, Joel W. Burdick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The classical notion of force closure is formulated for multi-fingered hands, where the fingers actively apply any desired force consistent with friction constraints at the contacts. This paper considers a simpler notion of passive force closure, where each finger obeys some force-displacement law that depends on the finger's joint parameters. The fingers apply initial preload grasping forces, and the grasped object is stabilized against external disturbances by the automatic response of the grasping fingers. After motivating the usefulness of passive force closure, we characterize the conditions for its existence. Then we introduce the passive stability set, defined as the collection of external wrenches that can be passively resisted by a given grasp. We introduce a class of grasp arrangements where the grasping mechanism is compliant while the grasped object is rigid. Such compliant-rigid systems are common, and for these systems the passive closure set can be computed in closed form. Stimulation results demonstrate the computation of the passive closure set for two and three-finger planar grasps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1775
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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