Analysis of Variable-Stiffness Soft Finger Joints
This paper addresses the problem of designing an artificial finger with variable stiffness in its joints. Our approach is based on the principle of combining different means of actuation. Two different versions of variable-stiffness joints are presented and used in the design and manufacturing of three prototypes of gripper fingers. Diverse material configurations are used in order to determine which are the distinctive capabilities of each one and how they differ. In order to test the fingers we built a test bench that allows us to measure the movement of the tendon-driven actuation, the pressure of air actuation and the force that is deployed in the tip of the finger. Several tests are made to measure the relation between the actuation input and the force exerted by the fingertips. Our results suggest that the best mechanism to achieve variable stiffness in the joints is a soft-rigid hybrid finger.
KeywordsVariable stiffness Soft robotics Grippers
This paper describes research done at UJI RobInLab. Support for this research was provided by Ministerio de Economa y Competitividad (DPI2015-69041-R).
- 3.Laschi, C., Rossiter, J., Iida, F., Cianchetti, M., Margheri, L.: Soft Robotics: Trends, Applications and Challenges Biosystems & Biorobotics, vol. 17. Springer (2017)Google Scholar
- 4.Hughes J., Culha U., Giardina F., Guenther F., Rosendo A., Iida, F.: Soft manipulators and grippers: a review. Front. Robot. AI 3, 69 (2016)Google Scholar
- 7.Yufei, H., Tianmiao, W., Xi, F., Kang, Y., Ling, M., Juan, G., Li, W.: A variable stiffness soft robotic gripper with low-melting-point alloy. In: Proceedings of the 36th Chinese Control Conference, pp. 6781–6786 (2017)Google Scholar
- 8.Yang, Y., Chen, Y.: 3D printing of smart materials for robotics with variable stiffness and position feedback. In: IEEE/ASME International Conference Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, AIM, pp. 418–423 (2017)Google Scholar
- 9.Memar, A.H., Mastronarde, N., Esfahani, E.T., Design of a novel variable stiffness gripper using permanent magnets. In: IEEE International Conference Robotics and Automation, pp. 2818–2823 (2017)Google Scholar
- 14.Migliore, S., Brown, E., DeWeerth, S.: Biologically inspired joint stiffness control. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4508–4513 (2005)Google Scholar
- 15.arduino.cc, December 2017