The BarrettHand grasper – programmably flexible part handling and assembly

William Townsend (William Townsend is based at Barrett Technology Inc., 139 Main Street, Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02142‐1528, USA. Tel: 00 1 617 252 9000; Fax: 00 1 617 252 9021; E‐mail:

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Publication date: 1 June 2000


This paper details the design and operation of the BarrettHand BH8‐250, an intelligent, highly flexible eight‐axis gripper that reconfigures itself in real time to conform securely to a wide variety of part shapes without tool‐change interruptions. The grasper brings enormous value to factory automation because it: reduces the required number and size of robotic workcells (which average US$90,000 each – not including the high cost of footprint) while boosting factory thoughput; consolidates the hodgepodge proliferation of customized gripper‐jaw shapes onto a common programmable platform; and enables incremental process improvement and accommodates frequent new‐product introductions, capabilities deployed instantly via software across international networks of factories.



Townsend, W. (2000), "The BarrettHand grasper – programmably flexible part handling and assembly", Industrial Robot, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 181-188.

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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