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Soft fingertips with tactile sensing and active deformation for robust grasping of delicate objects

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Title: Soft fingertips with tactile sensing and active deformation for robust grasping of delicate objects
Authors: He, L
Lu, Q
Abad, S-A
Rojas, N
Nanayakkara, DPT
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Soft fingertips have shown significant adaptability for grasping a wide range of object shapes, thanks to elasticity. This ability can be enhanced to grasp soft, delicate objects by adding touch sensing. However, in these cases, the complete restraint and robustness of the grasps have proved to be challenging, as the exertion of additional forces on the fragile object can result in damage. This letter presents a novel soft fingertip design for delicate objects based on the concept of embedded air cavities, which allow the dual ability of tactile sensing and active shape-changing. The pressurized air cavities act as soft tactile sensors to control gripper position from internal pressure variation; and active fingertip deformation is achieved by applying positive pressure to these cavities, which then enable a delicate object to be kept securely in position, despite externally applied forces, by form closure. We demonstrate this improved grasping capability by comparing the displacement of grasped delicate objects exposed to high-speed motions. Results show that passive soft fingertips fail to restrain fragile objects at accelerations as low as 0.1 m/s 2 , in contrast, with the proposed fingertips delicate objects are completely secure even at accelerations of more than 5 m/s 2 .
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance: 30-Jan-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/77298
DOI: 10.1109/lra.2020.2972851
ISSN: 2377-3766
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Start Page: 2714
End Page: 2721
Journal / Book Title: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Volume: 5
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © 2020 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. See https://www.ieee.org/publications/rights/index.html for more information.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/R020833/1
EP/R511547/1
EP/N03211X/2
EP/T00603X/1
Keywords: 0913 Mechanical Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2020-02-10
Appears in Collections:Dyson School of Design Engineering