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Hands and Sensors for Robots That Can Do Dishes

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Principal Investigator:

Mark R. Cutkosky

TRI Liaison:

Rick Cory

Project Summary

Integrate novel hand and sensor skin designs to provide robots with contact awareness for acquiring and handling objects like dirty dishes in cluttered environments, in conjunction with grasp analysis and planning.

Enable robots to perform a challenging household chore, safely and reliably. Provide new grasping and contact sensing capabilities that are missing from current hands.

Research Goals

  • Underactuated hand that can grasp relatively heavy and slippery objects with fingertip grasps using particle jamming and a non-slip skin. Hand includes features to reduce kinematic constraints in cluttered spaces.
  • Robust, stretchable sensory skin that detects where intentional or accidental contacts occur – on back and sides of hand as well as fingertips. Skin has local processing to minimize wiring challenges.
  • Integrate end-effector design with grasp planning to simplify retrieving objects in cluttered environments.
  • Develop exploratory procedures that use a combination of vision, Lidar, and contact sensing to make safe motions and reveal obscured objects.