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In this paper, we demonstrate an underactuated finger design and grasping method for precision grasping and manipulation of small objects. Taking inspiration from the human grasping strategy for picking up objects from a flat surface, we introduce the flip-and-pinch task, in which the hand picks up a thin object by flipping it into a stable configuration between two fingers. Despite the fact that finger motions are not fully constrained by the hand actuators, we demonstrate that the hand and fingers can interact with the table surface to produce a set of constraints that result in a repeatable quasi-static motion trajectory. Even when utilizing only open-loop kinematic playback, this approach is shown to be robust to variation in object size and hand position. Variation of up to 20° in orientation and 10 mm in hand height still result in experimental success rates of 80% or higher. These results suggest that the advantages of underactuated, adaptive robot hands can be carried over from basic grasping tasks to more dexterous tasks.
Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:10 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: July 2013