Manipulators in one form or another have been in existence for many hundreds of years with the design usually motivated by the task to be undertaken. Most often in robots this has led to a simple two fingered claw mechanism which has been adequate for many tasks but when the problem domain includes a varied range of delicate or easily damaged objects, one approach is to emulate those attributes of the human hand which make it such a versatile end‐effector. This paper will study two aspects of manipulator design: the construction of a dextrous hand with multi degree of control prehension, and the actuation systems to drive this hand that will make use of complaint drives to produce a “soft” but highly flexible mechanism to handle delicate products and materials.
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