Design of a statically balanced fully compliant grasper

A.J. Lamers, J.A. Gallego Sanchez, Justus Laurens Herder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Monolithic and thus fully compliant surgical graspers are promising when they provide equal or better force feedback than conventional graspers. In this work for the first time a fully compliant grasper is designed to exhibit zero stiffness and zero operation force. The design problem is addressed by taking a building block approach, in which a pre-existing positive stiffness compliant grasper is compensated by a negative stiffness balancer. The design of the balancer is conceived from a 4-bar linkage and explores the rigid-body-replacement method as a design approach towards static balancing. Design variables and sensitivities are determined through the use of a pseudo-rigid-body model. Final dimensions are obtained using rough hand calculations. Justification of the pseudo rigid body model as well as the set of final dimensions is done by non-linear finite element analysis. Experimental validation is done through a titanium prototype of 40 mm size having an unbalanced positive stiffness of 61.2 N/mm showing that a force reduction of 91.75% is achievable over a range of 0.6 mm, with an approximate hysteresis of 1.32%. The behavior can be tuned from monostable to bistable. The rigid-body-replacement method proved successful in the design of a statically balanced fully compliant mechanism, thus, widening the design possibilities for this kind of mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-239
Number of pages9
JournalMechanism and machine theory
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • IR-100804
  • METIS-313176


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