In collaboration with a team of researchers and engineers at Oculus Research and the University of Texas Department of Mechanical Engineering, we designed and built a robotic finger with the similar size and mobility of a person’s. Its tendon-driven design allows it to move with the agility and accuracy comparable to a human finger, with the ability to consistently accomplish intricate tasks.
The technical challenge and details of mimicking the human finger
We built the robotic finger with an actuation force of 30N and a tendon resolution of 0.1um. Its angular resolution is 0.05 arcseconds, the same as the Hubble Space Telescope’s. Per the research paper that showcases our work, they articulated some of precise engineering “Robotic finger testbed with customizable tendon routing, originally designed and manufactured by [Fresh Consulting hardware team, formerly Si Tech Engineering].
Tendons are connected to force-controllable moving coil linear actuators with in-line tension load cells. Finger joints contain embedded angle sensors. For fingertip force analysis, a grounded six-axis force/torque transducer is connected to the fingertip using an adapter that constrains fingertip position but allows free rotation of the distal link.”
Published in the paper “Development and Validation of Modeling Framework for Interconnected Tendon Networks in Robotic and Human Fingers,” with a shout out to our team in Figure 5.
The robotic finger work was shared along with the team’s research during the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Singapore