Second-order stability cells of a frictionless rigid body grasped by rigid fingers
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The most secure type of grasp of a frictionless woorkpiece is the form-closure grasp. However, task constraints may make achieving form-closure impossible or undesirable. In this case, one needs to employ a force-closure grasp. In this paper, we study the subclass of force-closure grasps known as second-order stable grasps, which typically have a small number of contacts. We derive conditions for second-order stability and represent second-order stability cells as conjunctions of equations and inequalities in the configuration variables of the system. These cells are the subsets of the system's configuration space for which the frictionless workpiece is second-order stable. We also determine the minimum and maximum numbers of contacts necessary for second-order stability. Our results are applied to a simple planar whole-arm manipulation system to generate one of its second-order stability cells.