Keyword: grasping and fixturing
This work aims at developing a robot hand that is specifically designed to perform a handshake with a person. The hand includes the capability to `feel’ the forces applied by the human user. Therefore, it can also be used as a haptic handshaking system connecting two people performing a remote handshake with haptic feedback.
Using integrated manufacturing processes with soft constituent materials, a new paradigm of soft, smart surgical devices can be realized to drastically reduce complication risks and enable safer procedures. We have designed, prototyped, and tested a ‘soft’, atraumatic, deployable surgical grasper that can be used during robolaparoscopic surgery to provide a safe, compliant intermediary between delicate organs and the sharp, rigid robotic forceps that are used to grasp and manipulate these organs on an ad-hoc basis. Multi-jointed, conformable fingers with embedded pressure sensors can conform to complicated geometry, thereby distributing forces and providing an inherently safe means of manipulating and retracting anatomy.
Structures in nature frequently combine hard and soft materials and exhibit functional and geometric features ranging from microscopic to macroscopic. To assist in developing new bio-inspired structures and mechanisms, we present a multi-material fabrication process for creating flexible structures with feature lengths ranging from centimeters to micrometers in a single structure. The process is demonstrated for a flexible gripper that grasps curved surfaces using gecko-inspired adhesives.