Linear Actuators and Grippers

Hello, I am kinda new to microcontrollers and their related components. I am doing a project where I have a pick and place function. However, I want to it be really simple with only 2 degrees of freedom. Extending/retracting and gripping. What kind of parts can I use for this (say to pick a book for example).

Moreover, what kind of configuration or feedback do I need in order to tell the gripper that it did pick something successfully (i.e exerted enough force on the object) or that it failed.

Any suggestions are appreciated! Thank you.

You should use Google and youtube searches to find examples of what you desire, then ask questions about the particular pick/place mechanism you are interested in.

You need to specify your budget and the payload weight for the arm. If the payload is small you can build your own arm with an erector set (see attached). The arm is a piece of aluminum mounted on a pivot with a gearbox arm that raises and lowers the boom.
The gripper is pure erector set with a servo that slide the diagonal pieces foward and back where they meet in the middle forcing the gripper opened and closed. Picking up a book is on a whole other level because robots don’t have finger nails. Humans with no finger nails have a hard time picking up books with one hand. If that’s your criteria for the robot then you need to mount thin aluminum strips on the leading edge of the gripper and mount the gripper on a rotating arm so you can rotate it parallel with the floor or table and extend forward to scoop the edge of the book before gripping. Then you can close the gripper and lift up.
There’s several ways to rotate the wrist. Stepper motor with belt drive pinion and larger toothed pulley is one way. Another is a pinion gear and larger mating gear. You can also do a small pulley and larger pulley with round belts (that look like thick black rubber bands shaped like O-rings. You can actually use O-rings if the stress is not too great. Basically , you need to do the mechanical design before anyone can help you because they would need to know what kind of motor you are using.