Implementation and control of the Velvet Fingers: A dexterous gripper with active surfaces

Vinicio Tincani, Giorgio Grioli, Manuel G. Catalano, Manolo Garabini, Simone Grechi, Gualtiero Fantoni, Antonio Bicchi
2013 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation  
Since the introduction of the first prototypes of robotic end-effectors showing manipulation capabilities, much research focused on the design and control of robot hand and grippers. While many studies focus on enhancing the sensing capabilities and motion agility, a less explored topic is the engineering of the surfaces that enable the hand to contact the object. In this paper we present the prototype of the Velvet Fingers smart gripper, a novel concept of end-effector combining the simple
more » ... anics and control of under-actuated devices together with high manipulation possibilities, usually offered only by dexterous robotic hands. This enhancement is obtained thanks to active surfaces, i.e. engineered contact surfaces able to emulate different levels of friction and to apply tangential thrusts to the contacted object. Through the paper particular attention is dedicated to the mechanical implementation, sense drive and control electronics of the device; some analysis on the control algorithms are reported. Finally, the capabilities of the prototype are showed through preliminary grasps and manipulation experiments.
doi:10.1109/icra.2013.6630955 dblp:conf/icra/TincaniGCGGFB13 fatcat:jarbz5xqubhuncfwxrhojvdqui