On the existence and synthesis of multifinger positive grips

B. Mishra, J. T. Schwartz, M. Sharir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the criteria under which an object can be gripped by a multifingered dexterous hand, assuming no static friction between the object and the fingers; such grips are called positive grips. We study three cases in detail: (i) the body is at equilibrium, (ii) the body is under some constant external force/torque, and (iii) the body is under a varying external force/torque. In each case we obtain tight bounds on the number of fingers needed to obtain grip. We also present efficient algorithms to synthesize such positive grips for bounded polyhedral/polygonal objects; the number of fingers employed in the grips synthesized by our algorithms match the above bounds. The algorithms run in time linear in the number of faces/sides. The paper may be of independent interest for its presentation of algorithms arising in the study of positive linear spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-558
Number of pages18
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Nov 1987


  • Force/torque
  • Grip selection
  • Positive grip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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