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Getting the Right Grip: Designing Soft, Sensitive Robotic Fingers

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The robot fingers grasp an apple.

Scientists at Japan's Ritsumeikan University designed a soft robotic finger containing a built-in sensor with adjustable stiffness.

Credit: Xie et al.

A three-dimensionally (3D) printed soft robotic finger developed by researchers at Japan's Ritsumeikan University features a built-in sensor with adjustable stiffness that could pave the way for more dexterous robotic handling.

A reinforced inflation chamber allows the finger to bend in a controllable fashion, and creating a vacuum in a separate chamber makes the stiffness of the finger tunable.

Together, these functions allow a three-finger robotic gripper to grasp and hold any object by applying the necessary force.

Said Ritsumeikan University's Mengying Xie, "Self-powered built-in sensors will not only allow robots to safely interact with humans and their environment, but also eliminate the barriers to robotic applications that currently rely on powered sensors to monitor conditions."

From Ritsumeikan University (Japan)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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