We propose an approach to teach robots to per form grasping tasks. This approach is based on the Assembly Plan from Observation (APO) paradigm, where the key idea is to enable a system to observe a human performing a grasping task, understand it, and perform the task with minimal human intervention.

A grasping task is composed of three phases: pregrasp phase, static grasp phase, and manipulation phase. The first step in recognizing a grasping task is to identify the grasp itself (within the static grasp phase).

We propose to identify the grasp by means of a grasp representation called the contact web which is composed of a pattern of effective contact points between the hand and the object. We also propose a grasp taxonomy based on the contact web to systematically identify a grasp. Results from grasping experiments show that it is possi ble to distinguish between various types of grasps using the proposed contact web and grasp taxonomy.