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Yikes - I have been traveling for a while and didn't see your question. I have had good luck with Plusea's pressure sensors. She has a couple of different designs. Here is one:http://www.instructables.com/id/Conductive-Thread-Pressure-Sensor/The nice thing is that you can have a foam or fabric structure, so it could work with the gripper's surface and flex.
Remote Controlled Moving Eyes in a Little Can
Pressure Sensor Matrix
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