Lifelike Robotic Fingers For Social Touching

The prosthetics of science fiction (like Heinlein's specialized prosthetic arm and Martin Caidin's bionic arm) are almost ready. Prosthetics like the DEKA Prosthetic Arm, the DLR Robotic Hand-Arm and the i-Limb System Robot Arm will revolutionize the prosthetics field.

Robotic hands are similarly in an advanced state. The BeBionic Robotic Hand With Powered Wrist and the Thought-Controlled Robotic Hand are evidence of this evolution. (SF fans of course remember the robotic hand from Heinlein's The Door into Summer and Philip K. Dick's robot surgeon-hand from War Veteran.)

These new devices will allow people with prosthetic hands and arms to interact socially in ways that most of us haven't thought about. What would it feel like to shake hands? Give a high five? How about feeling a friendly pat on the arm or the shoulder?

In a new paper, John-John Cabibihan, Raditya Pradipta and Shuzhi Sam Ge of The Social Robotics Laboratory, Interactive and Digital Media Institute and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The National University of Singapore, Singapore, reveal some fascinating research on the development of prosthetic hands that feel similar to human hands.


(Force sensors on the hand
(a) On the surface of the palm and
(b) Back of the hand.)

As realistic as they may look, the currently available prosthetic hands have physical properties that are still far from the characteristics of human skins because they are much stiffer. In this paper, different configurations of synthetic finger phalanges have been investigated for their skin compliance behaviour and have been compared with the phalanges of the human fingers and a phalanx from a commercially available prosthetic hand.

Handshake tests were performed to identify which areas on the human hand experience high contact forces. After these areas were determined, experiments were done on selected areas using an indenting probe to obtain the force-displacement curves...

During handshake, the high magnitudes of contact forces were observed at the areas where the full grasping enclosure of the other person's hand can be achieved. From these areas, the middle phalanges of the (a) little, (b) ring, and (c) middle fingers were selected. The indentation experiments on these areas showed that a 2 N force corresponds to skin tissue displacements of more than 2 mm. The results from the simulation model show that introducing an open pocket with 2 mm height on the internal structure of synthetic finger phalanges increased the skin compliance of the silicone material to 235% and the polyurethane material to 436%, as compared to a configuration with a solid internal geometry. In addition, the study shows that an indentation of 2 N force on the synthetic skin with an open pocket can also achieve a displacement of more than 2 mm, while the finger phalanx from a commercially available prosthetic hand can only achieve 0.2 mm.

Via Prosthetic finger phalanges with lifelike skin compliance for low-force social touching interactions. See also my earlier article on their work Robots Need Realistic Skin!.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/16/2011)

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 ")

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick

 

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

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

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.