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Development of an anthropomorphic robot hand and wrist for teleoperation applications

Saliba, M.A. and Camilleri, D. and Farrugia, M.J. (2005) Development of an anthropomorphic robot hand and wrist for teleoperation applications. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation, 2005-12-15 - 2005-12-18.

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In this work, we are developing an anthropomorphic robot hand and wrist to be teleoperated by a human using a glove input device. The present model of the hand is intended for use in grasping operations, and consists of a palm, two fingers, an opposed thumb, and two wrist joints that provide pitch and roll movements. Each of the three digits of the robot hand has two pitch joints to enable flexion and extension, and incorporates a new passive switching mechanism that allows a single actuator to drive the two joints successively. The hand/wrist system has a total of five independent degrees-of-freedom. It is driven by five remotely located DC motors through servo control, and the drive from the motors is transmitted to the hand and wrist joints through flexible sheathed cables acting as tendons. The work focuses on replicating as closely as possible the shape, size, natural motions and applied forces of the human appendage, while keeping the complexity of the robot hand and wrist to a minimum. The first prototype of the hand has been demonstrated, and is capable of holding a wide variety of objects of different shapes and sizes using both precision-type and power-type grasp configurations.