Softly getting a grip

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1267-1268
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6368.1267-f

For delicate work, our fingers can softly grasp an object such as an egg, whereas when precision is called for, we can hold something like a pencil or fine tool with a stiff grasp. In robotic arms, soft pneumatic actuation allows for dexterity and flexibility, but the stiffness of the arm cannot be decoupled from the position of the device at its end. Giannaccini et al. used a combination of contracting and expanding muscles that increased the bending angle that the arm could achieve while also decoupling the stiffness of the manipulator at the end of the arm from its position in space. Further, increasing the payload on the arm had minimal effect on its bending.

Soft Robot. 10.1089/soro.2016.0066 (2017).

Navigate This Article