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Proposed Standard Terminology for Robotic Hands and Associated Performance Metrics (Draft)



Joseph A. Falco, Karl Van Wyk, Elena R. Messina


Increasing the flexibility and general-purpose applicability of robots is a longstanding goal. Several avenues of research addressing these goals include hand designs, sensing technologies, control algorithms. As part of the manipulation thrust, there has been a recent increase in the development of robotic hands. Inspired by nature, these end effectors hold potential for allowing robots to pick up and manipulate a broader range of objects, without requiring customized end-of- arm tooling or grippers. With this rapidly-growing number of robot hands with diverse designs, there is a need to capture their individual competencies and characteristics under a unified framework. This document presents the terminology and associated definitions to support this framework. By providing a common and consistent lexicon, the purpose of this terminology is to facilitate communication between individuals involved in the research, design, and integration of robotic hands.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1229 (Draft)
Report Number
1229 (Draft)


Grasping, Manipulation, Performance Metrics, Robotics


Falco, J. , Van, K. and Messina, E. (2018), Proposed Standard Terminology for Robotic Hands and Associated Performance Metrics (Draft), Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created October 31, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018