This paper presents a two stage method for constructing a firm grip that can tolerate small slips of the fingertips. The fingers are assumed to be of frictionless contact type. The first stage was to formulate the interaction in the gripper-object system as a linear complementarity problem (LCP). Then it was solved using a special neural network to find minimal fingers forces. The second stage was to use the obtained results in the first stage as a static mapping in training another neural network. The second neural network training included emulating the slips by random noise in the form of changes in the positions of the contact points relative to the reference coordinate system. This noisy training increased robustness against unexpected changes in fingers positions. Genetic algorithms were used in training the second neural network as global optimization techniques. The resulting neural network is a robust, reliable, and stable controller for rigid bodies that can be handled by a robot grippe. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.