History of Robotics Research and Development of Japan2009ManipulationDevelopment of a Robot Hand with Low Backlash 3D Cam Mechanisms —Prototype of a Light-weight Robot Hand and Evaluation of the Mechanisms—
Assistant robots aimed at coexisting and supporting humans in daily-life and other environments are actively being developed. These robots are designed to have a wide array of abilities like carrying heavy objects, handling small objects and even making gestures. To effectively perform these required tasks and motions, these robots need arms as well as hands that function as end-effectors. In place of simple two fingered grippers that have a difficulty performing complex motions, multi-fingered multi-joint robotic hands with higher dexterity are more suited for these assistant robots.
The hands of human assistant robots have many requirements from high maneuverability needed to perform various tasks in daily life situations to assuring safety in the design so as to not cause harm or damage. These hands should not only have enough D.O.F. and power to perform various complex tasks but also a precise mechanism to ensure stable control and precise manipulation. Additionally, the hand should be kept as lightweight as possible to reduce the power of the manipulator since a high powered manipulator is the main source of hazard in human support robots.
So far, many multi-finger and multi-joint robotic hands have been
developed using individual unique mechanisms. These hands already have enough D.O.F. and power but there still remain many problems regarding the reduction of the weight of the materials used in the structure of the system as well as the development of an accurate motion of finger joint mechanism. To solve these problems, we proposed a unique, small-sized and high precision 3D cam mechanism and developed a joint mechanism using the 3D cam. In this research, a prototype of an anthropomorphic robot hand using the joint mechanism and lightweight materials is developed and evaluated.
25th RSJ Best Paper Award in 2011.