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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2022, Volume 17, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11465-022-0691-5

Mechanical design, modeling, and identification for a novel antagonistic variable stiffness dexterous finger

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China;State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China;State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China;State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China;State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China

Received:2021-11-29 Available online:2021-11-29

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Abstract

This study traces the development of dexterous hand research and proposes a novel antagonistic variable stiffness dexterous finger mechanism to improve the safety of dexterous hand in unpredictable environments, such as unstructured or man-made operational errors through comprehensive consideration of cost, accuracy, manufacturing, and application. Based on the concept of mechanical passive compliance, which is widely implemented in robots for interactions, a finger is dedicated to improving mechanical robustness. The finger mechanism not only achieves passive compliance against physical impacts, but also implements the variable stiffness actuator principle in a compact finger without adding supererogatory actuators. It achieves finger stiffness adjustability according to the biologically inspired stiffness variation principle of discarding some mobilities to adjust stiffness. The mechanical design of the finger and its stiffness adjusting methods are elaborated. The stiffness characteristics of the finger joint and the actuation unit are analyzed. Experimental results of the finger joint stiffness identification and finger impact tests under different finger stiffness presets are provided to verify the validity of the model. Fingers have been experimentally proven to be robust against physical impacts. Moreover, the experimental part verifies that fingers have good power, grasping, and manipulation performance.

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