F1 Hand: A Versatile Fixed-Finger Gripper for Delicate Teleoperation and Autonomous Grasping

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) with IROS2022


By : Guilherme Maeda, Naoki Fukaya, Shin-ichi Maeda

Teleoperation is often limited by the ability of an operator to react and predict the behavior of the robot as it interacts with the environment. For example, to grasp small objects on a table, the teleoperator needs to predict the position of the fingertips before the fingers are closed to avoid them hitting the table. For that reason, we developed the F1 hand, a single-motor gripper that facilitates teleoperation with the use of a fixed finger. The hand is capable of grasping objects as thin as a paper clip, and as heavy and large as a cordless drill. The applicability of the hand can be expanded by replacing the fixed finger with different shapes. This flexibility makes the hand highly versatile while being easy and cheap to develop. However, due to the atypical asymmetric structure and actuation of the hand usual grasping strategies no longer apply. Thus, we propose a controller that approximates actuation symmetry by using the motion of the whole arm. The F1 hand and its controller are compared side-by-side with the original Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR) gripper in teleoperation using 22 objects from the YCB dataset in addition to small objects. The grasping time and peak contact forces could be decreased by 20% and 70%, respectively while increasing success rates by 5%. Using an off-the-shelf grasp pose estimator for autonomous grasping, the system achieved similar success rates to the original HSR gripper, at the order of 80%.

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