Wed. Dec 6th, 2023
    New and Improved Robotic Hands: Enhancing Performance and Reducing Complexity


    Robotic hands with multiple fingers have revolutionized various industries with their advanced capabilities. However, the drawback of these highly complex hands is that their potential for improvement is often limited. Researchers have been exploring innovative approaches to overcome these limitations and create robotic hands with fewer degrees of freedom while maintaining high performance.

    In this pursuit, previous studies have focused on developing underactuated robotic hands with a limited number of actuators. These hands have been successful in achieving advanced tasks with relatively simpler structures. Additionally, there have been investigations into the use of soft robotic hands that can handle delicate objects, as well as hands that utilize jamming of granular materials or unique finger mechanisms.

    Core Fact: The present authors have designed a foldable robotic hand with a wide range of joint movements, allowing for various tasks such as placing, grasping, pinching, pulling, and turning pages. The hand has six degrees of freedom (DOFs) and can achieve remarkable results.

    New Findings

    In contrast to traditional robotic hands, which continuously drive all finger axes, the human hand operates by employing small, sequential movements of hand joints. Inspired by this, researchers have developed a robotic hand system that mimics this behavior. By carefully arranging the fingers, increasing the range of joint movements, and effectively utilizing the back and sides of the fingers, this hand system can perform numerous tasks with a small number of degrees of freedom.

    Experimentation with the proposed hand system has demonstrated its effectiveness. One notable discovery is the correlation between the contact position of a finger with an object and the success ratio of pinching. Understanding this relationship allows for improved control and manipulation of objects. Moreover, a control system has been developed that can automatically switch from pinching to grasping when pinching becomes difficult, enhancing the hand’s adaptability to various scenarios.


    1. What is the main concept behind the new robotic hand system?

    The main concept is to mimic the sequential movements of human hand joints rather than continuously driving all finger axes.

    2. How does the proposed hand system increase the range of tasks that can be performed with fewer degrees of freedom?

    By carefully arranging the fingers, increasing joint movements, and utilizing the back and sides of the fingers, the hand system maximizes its capabilities.

    3. What is the significance of the correlation between contact position and pinching success?

    This correlation allows for improved control and manipulation of objects, leading to more accurate and successful pinching actions.

    4. How does the control system enhance the hand’s adaptability?

    The control system can automatically switch from pinching to grasping when pinching becomes challenging, ensuring efficient object manipulation in various scenarios.


    Original article: [Link]