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Development and application of a gel actuator for the design of a humanoid robotic finger

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2 Author(s)
Castley, D. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng. & Mech., Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA, USA ; Oh, P.

Humanoid robotic hands are the essential end effectors for a robot to complete tasks in human environments. Their hands need to perform restraining power grasps and dexterous precision grasps fixed similarly to the positions of human hand postures. Advanced universal robotic hands have previously utilized actuator systems in the form of pulley-cables and pneumatics. These systems often require large amounts hardware that cannot be contained in smaller structures like the humanoid robot Hubo. Hubo has shape adaptive hands that solely rely on a pulley cable mechanical system. Although Hubo has three joints per finger, there is only one motor per finger leading to a coupled phalanx finger design that fails to model precision gripping. A gel actuator has been developed for application in a newly designed humanoid robotic finger. By using this gel actuator in conjunction with an electromagnetic lock mechanism, one motor can power the three-degree of freedom robotic finger. The expected advantage in the new design is a humanoid proportional finger that has improved precision grip while maintaining power grasp adaptability.

Published in:

Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA), 2011 IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-12 April 2011