The Role of the Thumb: Study of Finger Motion in Grasping and Reachability Space in Human and Robotic Hands

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Title: The Role of the Thumb: Study of Finger Motion in Grasping and Reachability Space in Human and Robotic Hands
Author(s): Cotugno, G
Althoefer, K
Nanayakkara, T
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: It is well acknowledged that the opposing thumb granted humans advanced manipulation capabilities. However, such a feature is not statistically quantified, and its representation is not formally addressed in robotics yet. This paper studies whether the displacement of the opposing thumb in humans is a determining factor for shaping the grip. Using statistical analysis of the variability of motion capture data from the GRASP database, we found that the displacement of the thumb plays a leading role on the shaping of the grip, independently from the specific object being grasped. Furthermore, we map and compare the reachability spaces of the human thumb and two state-of-the-art robotic thumbs: (1) the shadow and (2) the iCub hands. We conclude that the kinematics of robotic thumbs does not evenly span the reachability space of the human thumb, favoring precision grasping motions. Hence, our findings contribute to the discussion of the optimal modeling of robotic hands.
Publication Date: 5-Apr-2016
Date of Acceptance: 3-Jan-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/50891
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TSMC.2016.2531679
ISSN: 2168-2216
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Start Page: 1061
End Page: 1070
Journal / Book Title: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SYSTEMS MAN CYBERNETICS-SYSTEMS
Volume: 47
Issue: 7
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/N03211X/2
Copyright Statement: © 2016 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Keywords: Science & Technology
Technology
Automation & Control Systems
Computer Science, Cybernetics
Computer Science
Dexterous manipulation
grasping
humanoid robots
kinematics
multifingered hands
POWER GRIP TASK
EVOLUTION
DESIGN
FORCES
JOINT
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Dyson School of Design Engineering



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