This paper presents the development of NGDs (needle grasping devices) capable of handling elongated objects such as surgical needles. After describing the main demands of medical needle-based procedures, a requirement list for a typical NGD is presented. Some solution principles for a grasping device are generated, combined and then classified to obtain a set of principle variant solutions. The design study of some of these variant solutions is then developed and a discussion on two device candidates constructed using either interconnected rigid bodies or compliant parts will be presented. The mechanical behavior of the compliant mechanism acting on a needle barrel is simulated with a FEM analysis including the model of non-linearities induced by large deformations and the contact between the needle and the grasping device. Functional prototypes of both NGDs have been constructed and a first experimental assessment of their service capability is finally exposed.

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