Aukes, D. M., Heyneman, B., Ulmen, J., Stuart, H., Cutkosky, M. R., Kim, S., . . . Edsinger, A. (2014). Design and testing of a selectively compliant underactuated hand. International Journal of Robotics Research, 33(5), 721-735.
Motivated by the requirements of mobile manipulation, a compliant underactuated hand, capable of locking individual joints, has been developed. Locking is accomplished with electrostatic brakes in the joints and significantly increases the maximum pullout forces for power grasps. In addition, by locking and unlocking joints, the hand can adopt configurations and grasp sequences that would otherwise require a fully actuated solution. Other features of the hand include an integrated sensing suite that uses a common transduction technology on flexible printed circuits for tactile and proprioceptive sensing. The hand is analyzed using a three-dimensional rigid body analysis package with efficient simulation of compliant mechanisms and contacts with friction. This package allows one to evaluate design tradeoffs among link lengths, required tendon tensions, spring stiffnesses and braking requirements to grasp and hold a wide range of objects. Results of grasping and pullout tests confirm the utility of the simulations.