DLR Robotic Hand-Arm Is Super-Strong, Super-Tough

Researchers at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), have created what may be the toughest and strongest robotic hand ever made. The fingers can exert a force of up to 30 newtons at the fingertips, and is tough enough to withstand repeated blows from a hammer, as shown in the video below.


(From Anthropomorphic robot hand from German Aerospace Center (DLR) )

The hand is fully anthropomorphic, with five articulated fingers powered by a set of 38 tendons, each attached to a individual motor encased in the forearm. The full DLR Hand-Arm System "mimics the kinematic, dynamic and force properties of the human arm using variable passive compliance actuators" and has a total of 52 drives and more than 100 sensors.

The new hand can catch a ball thrown from several meters away. The actuation and spring mechanisms are capable of absorbing the kinetic energy without structural damages.

But the hand can’t always be in a stiff mode. To do manipulation tasks that require accuracy, it’s better to have a hand with low stiffness. By adjusting the tendon motors, the DLR hand can do just that.

To operate the hand, the researchers use special sensor gloves or simply send grasping commands. The control system is based on monitoring the joint angles. It doesn’t need to do impedance control, says Markus Grebenstein, the hand's lead designer, because the hand has compliance within the mechanics.

To detect whether an object is soft and must be handled more gently, the hand measures force by keeping track of the elongation of the spring mechanisms.

“In terms of grasping and dexterity, we’re quite close to the human hand,” he says

Robert Heinlein directed our attention to robotic hands in his 1956 novel The Door Into Summer. When designing Flexible Frank, the all-purpose robot, great attention was paid to the manipulators provided to the robot:

Hands I could order from the atomics-engineering equipment companies who supplied Hired Girl's hands, only this time I would want the best, with wide-range servos and with the delicate feedback required for microanalysis manipulations and for weighing radioactive isotopes...
(Read more about Heinlein's robot hand)

From IEEE Spectrum; see also the full DLR Hand-Arm-System.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/26/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.' - Ray Bradbury, 1950.

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.' - George Lucas, 1976.

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Autonomous BADGER Robot Drilling Machine
'The compacted matter... makes a better tunnel lining than concrete, don't you think?'

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.

Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'

Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?

Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'

DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'

Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.