The objective is to develop a flexible robot assembly system capable of economically switching between a wide range of product assemblies. Towards this goal, this paper introduces grasping as a principle issue in designing for flexibility in a robot system. The task, sensing, and certainty about actions are the primary factors in grasp decisions and not where to grasp the part. Identifying finger features, which satisfy a broad range of tasks reduces the likelihood of re‐tooling, and improves certainty about part location and relative orientation. Aided by the ability to address a broad range of tasks, design rules are established which assimilate grasps to part design.
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