Robotics: Science and Systems XVI

The RUTH Gripper: Systematic Object-Invariant Prehensile In-Hand Manipulation via Reconfigurable Underactuation

Qiujie Lu, Nicholas Baron, Angus Clark, Nicolas Rojas


We introduce a reconfigurable underactuated robot hand able to perform systematic prehensile in-hand manipulations regardless of object size or shape. The hand utilises a two-degree-of-freedom five-bar linkage as the palm of the gripper, with three three-phalanx underactuated fingers---jointly controlled by a single actuator---connected to the mobile revolute joints of the palm. Three actuators are used in the robot hand system, one for controlling the force exerted on objects by the fingers and two for changing the configuration of the palm. This novel layout allows decoupling grasping and manipulation, facilitating the planning and execution of in-hand manipulation operations. The reconfigurable palm provides the hand with large grasping versatility, and allows easy computation of a map between task space and joint space for manipulation based on distance-based linkage kinematics. The motion of objects of different sizes and shapes from one pose to another is then straightforward and systematic, provided the objects are kept grasped. This is guaranteed independently and passively by the underactuated fingers using a custom tendon routing method, which allows no tendon length variation when the relative finger base position changes with palm reconfigurations. We analyse the theoretical grasping workspace and manipulation capability of the hand, present algorithms for computing the manipulation map and in-hand manipulation planning, and evaluate all these experimentally. Numerical and empirical results of several manipulation trajectories with objects of different size and shape clearly demonstrate the viability of the proposed concept.



    AUTHOR    = {Qiujie  Lu AND Nicholas Baron AND Angus Clark AND Nicolas Rojas}, 
    TITLE     = {{The RUTH Gripper: Systematic Object-Invariant Prehensile In-Hand Manipulation via Reconfigurable Underactuation}}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2020}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Corvalis, Oregon, USA}, 
    MONTH     = {July}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2020.XVI.093}