Adaptive and reconfigurable robotic gripper hands with a meso-scale gripping range
MetadataShow full item record
Grippers and robotic hands are essential and important end-effectors of robotic manipulators. Developing a gripper hand that can grasp a large variety of objects precisely and stably is still an aspiration even though research in this area has been carried out for several decades. This thesis provides a development approach and a series of gripper hands which can bridge the gap between micro-gripper and macro-gripper by extending the gripping range to the mesoscopic scale (meso-scale). Reconfigurable topology and variable mobility of the design offer versatility and adaptability for the changing environment and demands. By investigating human grasping behaviours and the unique structures of human hand, a CFB-based finger joint for anthropomorphic finger is developed to mimic a human finger with a large grasping range. The centrodes of CFB mechanism are explored and a contact-aided CFB mechanism is developed to increase stiffness of finger joints. An integrated gripper structure comprising cross four-bar (CFB) and remote-centre-of-motion (RCM) mechanisms is developed to mimic key functionalities of human hand. Kinematics and kinetostatic analyses of the CFB mechanism for multimode gripping are conducted to achieve passive-adjusting motion. A novel RCM-based finger with angular, parallel and underactuated motion is invented. Kinematics and stable gripping analyses of the RCM-based multi-motion finger are also investigated. The integrated design with CFB and RCM mechanisms provides a novel concept of a multi-mode gripper that aims to tackle the challenge of changing over for various sizes of objects gripping in mesoscopic scale range. Based on the novel designed mechanisms and design philosophy, a class of gripper hands in terms of adaptive meso-grippers, power-precision grippers and reconfigurable hands are developed. The novel features of the gripper hands are one degree of freedom (DoF), self-adaptive, reconfigurable and multi-mode. Prototypes are manufactured by 3D printing and the grasping abilities are tested to verify the design approach.