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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.Eng.)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Basha

First Committee Member

Chi-Wook Lee

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Ross


The purpose of this thesis is to ascertain the feasibility of using strain gauges attached to a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) gripper to determine, upon impact, the hardness of a landing site. We design and fabricate a four finger gripper that uses a rotary component to convert the rotational motion of a servo to the linear motion of the finger assemblies. We functionally test a gripper prototype made from rapid-prototype material. We conduct three experiments to test the gripper's functionality. The first experiment tests the gripper's ability to grasp, lift, and release a centered payload, and the gripper performed with overall success rates of 91%, 100%, and 87% respectively. The second experiment tests the gripper's ability to self-align, lift and release the payload and the gripper performed with overall success rates of 99%, 100%, and 96% respectively. The third experiment tests the functional durability of the gripper, and it performed without error for 5000 open/close cycles.





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