Robots are seen as metallic tough man-made objects that do not align with a ‘soft-touch’. However, there is a growing need to develop robots that can deal with humans. Such a challenge inspired Michigan State University engineers to design and develop a helping humanoid hand.
"The novel humanoid hand design is a soft-hard hybrid flexible gripper. It can generate larger grasping force than a traditional pure soft hand, and simultaneously be more stable for accurate manipulation than other counterparts used for heavier objects," said lead author Changyong Cao, director of the Laboratory for Soft Machines and Electronics at MSU and assistant professor in Packaging, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Findings were published in the paper "Soft Humanoid Hands with Large Grasping Force Enabled by Flexible Hybrid Pneumatic Actuators” seen in the journal Soft Robotics.
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"Traditional rigid grippers for industrial applications are generally made of simple but re- liable rigid structures that help in generating large forces, high accuracy and repeatability," Cao said. "The proposed soft humanoid hand has demonstrated excellent adaptability and compatibility in grasping complex-shaped and fragile objects while simultaneously maintaining a high level of stiffness for exerting strong clamping forces to lift heavy loads."
Source: Science Daily