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Hands for dexterous manipulation and robust grasping: a difficult road toward simplicity

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1 Author(s)
A. Bicchi ; Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca, Pisa Univ., Italy

In this paper, an attempt at summarizing the evolution and the state of the art in the field of robot hands is made. In such exposition, a critical evaluation of what in the author's view are the leading ideas and emerging trends is privileged with respect to exhaustiveness of citations. The survey is focused mainly on three types of functional requirements a machine hand can be assigned in an artificial system, namely, manipulative dexterity, grasp robustness, and human operability. A basic distinction is made between hands designed for mimicking the human anatomy and physiology,and hands designed to meet restricted, practical requirements. In the latter domain, arguments are presented in favor of a -minimalistic” attitude in the design of hands for practical applications, i.e., use the least number of actuators, the simplest set of sensors, etc., for a given task. To achieve this rather obvious engineering goal is a challenge to our community. The paper illustrates some of the new sometimes difficult, problems that are brought about by building and controlling simpler, more practical devices

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 6 )