A Multi-Grasp, Reconfigurable, Dexterous Robot Hand for Service Robotics and Industrial Automation Applications

Robot grasping and dexterous, in-hand manipulation allow robots to interact with their surroundings and execute a plethora of complex tasks such as pushing buttons, opening doors, and interacting with electrical appliances. In robotics, such complicated tasks are typically executed by multifingered end-effectors that are heavy, rigid, and expensive, employing numerous degrees of freedom and actuation. In this work, we focus on the analysis, design, and development of a multi-grasp, reconfigurable, five fingered, anthropomorphic robot hand that can facilitate the execution of both robust grasping and dexterous manipulation tasks in service robotics and industrial automation applications. The robot hand is composed of eight actuators driving eighteen degrees of freedom with a telescoping mechanism and opposable thumb and pinky fingers to produce multiple anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic configurations for grasping and manipulation tasks. The reconfigurable finger base frames allow the hand to transform and utilize its degrees of actuation in an optimal manner to overcome its underactuated limitations. The underactuated robot hand is designed with a human hand structure that takes advantage of objects specifically designed for human operation (e.g., tool or handles with ergonomics for the human hand). This allows the system to better operate within a human-centered environment. The effectiveness of the proposed device is experimentally validated through three different tests: i) grasping experiments involving everyday-life objects, ii) force experiments that assess the force exertion capabilities of the hand in different finger base frame configurations, and iii) demonstration of in-hand object manipulation capabilities. The proposed hand weighs 1.28 kg and has a cost of approximately $1920 USD. The device is capable of exerting up to 14.3 N of contact force in pinch grasping and 150.6 N in power grasping.