The word robot originates from the Czech word robota, this translates to “forced labor.” The part in the quotation describes the majority of robots pretty neatly.
If we look closely, we’ll find out that most robots are designed for heavy and repetitive work. A robot handles tasks that might be difficult, boring or dangerous to human beings. Amongst robots, the most commonly manufactured thing is a robot arm. Though a robot arm is very futuristic now, humanoid robot hands are the future.
In today’s article, we’ll be talking about humanoid robotic hands. How many types are there? How do I create a humanoid robotic hand? What is the usage and importance of a humanoid robotic hand? All those robot technology questions will be answered in today’s article.
With that being said, here is everything you need to know about a humanoid robot hand!
What Is A Robot Hand?
A robot hand is a hand-created to emulate things that a human can do. For example wielding, spinning, gripping, etc.
Types Of Robot Hands
There are mainly two kinds of robotic hands. They are:
- Simple or two-fingered.
- Complex or humanoid hand.
Let’s go over both of them describing what they are.
#1. Simple or two-fingered robot hand
These are the simple robot hands that are nearly everywhere. They are designed to do many things reliably without creating any fuss. Things like picking up, putting down are down by two-fingered robots.
#2. Complex or humanoid hand
Complex or better known as humanoid hands have four fingers and a thumb, this closely mimics the original human hands. Complex hands were designed to do everything hard. Doing surgery, driving cars are only some of the few things complex hands can do.
Our human body is a result of millions of years of evolution. And to this day, we design stuff that’s like our body. That’s why if you want your robot hand to do as much as possible then you need to design your robot hand as human-like as possible.
Creation Of A Complex Hand
A real human hand is complex, that’s why it is very difficult to create a biomimetic anthropomorphic while holding a human-ish form factor.
These days, scientists are going crazy over building the most detailed and accurate biomimetic anthropomorphic robotic hand ever seen. Their goal is to replace human hands entirely.
Let’s start from scratch on duplicating the human hand mechanically and as accurate as possible. First, a human skeleton hand is laser scanned and then 3D- printed artificial bones are scanned to match. This is done to duplicate the unfixed joint axes humans have.
To give an example, the motion of an opposable thumb relies on the trapezium bone located at the CMC joint. Because of the irregular shape of a trapezium bone, the exact locations of CMC joints can’t be fixed. Therefore, no robotic hands that can restore natural thumb motions alongside mechanical joints requiring fixed rotation axis
Artificial bones are 3D printed from a laser scanned cadaver hand model and are connected artificial finger joints similar to that of a human hand. Joint ligaments are made with spectra strings that are of high strength.
Laser-cut rubber sheets replace the soft tissue of the hand. Flexor and Extensor tendons are also made with spectra. More laser cut rubber sheets are used here as tendon sheathing and extensor hood.
These sheets act as a complex multi-web structure that wraps around the finger to manage flexibility and torque.
The final part of a complex hand is the muscles. They are made by an array of 10 Dynamixel servos. These cable routing resembles the carpal tunnel of the human hand.
A complex hand-design preserves the human hands’ biomechanical information on the anatomical level.
Usage Of A Humanoid Robot Hand
.Aside from being a beautiful piece of art, the humanoid hand can mimic a wide variety of actions while being controlled with a waldo remote manipulator. The users of this hand can perform complicated in-hand manipulation while not having any kind of force feedback.
Another key thing to note here is that the hand is designed to mimic any kind of human hand action. This is because of its construction rather than any kind of programming.
This can have a positive effect on telemanipulation, as the operator can control the hand from far away.
The other things to talk about here are the day to day activities. Think of an action that a normal hand does. From playing chess to driving a car, a humanoid hand can do it all!
Importance Of Designing A Humanoid Robotic Hand
The conventional or the simple way of approach to designing an anthropomorphic robotic hand often results in mechanizing biological parts with gimbals, linkages, and hinges. This happens to simplify the ever-complicated human body parts.
Although using gimbals and hinges is helpful for understanding and guessing the kinematics of the human hand, it introduces unavoidable inconsistency amongst the human and robotic hands. This is the result of major biomechanical features of the human hand being rejected in the mechanizing process.
The intrinsic inconsistency of mechanisms between a robotic hand and a biomechanical human hand prevents us from using natural hand motion to directly control them.
Therefore, there isn’t an existing robotic hand that can achieve human-level dexterity yet. And as the human level can’t be reached we can surely be close to that.
Though both simple and humanoid robotic hands are great, humanoid hands boast of flexibility and more diverse usability that simple robotic hands lack. And that’s why it’s important to design humanoid robotic hands.
The world is digitizing and so should we. A decade ago no one would’ve believed that there can be anything like a mechanical hand, but now in 2020 it’s all possible
With humanoid things being the trend, it’s important to know about humanoid robot hands. Who knows, maybe this knowledge of humanoid robotic hands might just be what you could need.