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The demands of mobile manipulation are leading to a new class of multi-fingered hands with a premium on being lightweight and robust as well as being able to grasp and perform basic manipulations with a wide range of objects. A promising approach to addressing these goals is to use compliant, underactuated hands with selectively lockable degrees of freedom. This paper presents the design of one such hand that combines series-elastic actuation and electrostatic braking at the joints. A numerical analysis shows how the maximum pullout force varies as a function of kinematic parameters, spring forces at the joints and brake torques.

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