Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

  • Mechanical Characterization of Supernumerary Robotic Tails for Human Balance Augmentation
    on August 31, 2023 at 12:00 am

    AbstractHumans are intrinsically unstable in quiet stance from a rigid body system viewpoint; however, they maintain balance, thanks to neuro-muscular sensory control properties. With increasing levels of balance related incidents in industrial and ageing populations globally each year, the development of assistive mechanisms to augment human balance is paramount. This work investigates the mechanical characteristics of kinematically dissimilar one and two degrees-of-freedom (DoF) supernumerary robotic tails for balance augmentation. Through dynamic simulations and manipulability assessments, the importance of variable coupling inertia in creating a sufficient reaction torque is highlighted. It is shown that two-DoF tails with solely revolute joints are best suited to address the balance augmentation issue. Within the two-DoF options, the characteristics of open versus closed loop tails are investigated, with the ultimate design selection requiring trade-offs between environmental workspace, biomechanical factors, and manufacturing ease to be made.

An Affordable Linkage-and-Tendon Hybrid-Driven Anthropomorphic Robotic Hand—MCR-Hand II


This paper presents the design, analysis, and development of an anthropomorphic robotic hand coined MCR-hand II. This hand takes the advantages of both the tendon-driven and linkage-driven systems, leading to a compact mechanical structure that aims to imitate the mobility of a human hand. Based on the investigation of the human hand anatomical structure and the related existing robotic hands, mechanical design of the MCR-hand II is presented. Then, using D-H convention, kinematics of this hand is formulated and illustrated with numerical simulations. Furthermore, fingertip force is deduced and analyzed, and mechatronic system integration and control strategy are addressed. Subsequently, a prototype of the proposed robotic hand is developed, integrated with low-level control system, and following which empirical study is carried out, which demonstrates that the proposed hand is capable of implementing the grasp and manipulation of most of the objects used in daily life. In addition, the three widely used tools, i.e., the Kapandji score test, Cutkosky taxonomy, and Kamakura taxonomy, are used to evaluate the performance of the hand, which evidences that the MCR-hand II possesses high dexterity and excellent grasping capability; object manipulation performance is also demonstrated. This paper hence presents the design and development of a type of novel tendon–linkage-integrated anthropomorphic robotic hand, laying broader background for the development of low-cost robotic hands for both industrial and prosthetic use.
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