User-Driven Design and Development of an Underwater Soft Gripper for Biological Sampling and Litter Collection

Giacomo Picardi, Mauro De Luca, Giovanni Chimienti, Matteo Cianchetti, Marcello Calisti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Implementing manipulation and intervention capabilities in underwater vehicles is of crucial importance for commercial and scientific reasons. Mainstream underwater grippers are designed for the heavy load tasks typical of the industrial sector; however, due to the lack of alternatives, they are frequently used in biological sampling applications to handle irregular, delicate, and deformable specimens with a consequent high risk of damage. To overcome this limitation, the design of grippers for marine science applications should explicitly account for the requirements of end-users. In this paper, we aim at making a step forward and propose to systematically account for the needs of end-users by resorting to design tools used in industry for the conceptualization of new products which can yield great benefits to both applied robotic research and marine science. After the generation of the concept design for the gripper using a reduced version of the House of Quality and the Pugh decision matrix, we reported on its mechanical design, construction, and preliminary testing. The paper reports on the full design pipeline from requirements collection to preliminary testing with the aim of fostering and providing structure to fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations at the interface of robotics and marine science.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 31 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-04-06
Acknowledgements: This research was funded by the National Geographic Society (grant agreement No. NGS-56544T-19) and by the Agencia de Gestión de Ayudas Universitarias y de Investigación (AGAUR) of the Generalitat de Catalunya through the Beatriu de Pinos postdoctoral fellowship program (grant number 2021 BP 00039).


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