A Review of Anthropomorphic Robotic Hand Technology and Data Glove Based Control

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Virginia Tech

For over 30 years, the development and control of anthropomorphic robotic hands has been a highly popular sub-discipline in robotics research. Because the human hand is an extremely sophisticated system, both in its mechanical and sensory abilities, engineers have been fascinated with replicating these abilities in artificial systems. The applications of robotic hands typically fall under the categories of standalone testbed platforms, mostly to conduct research on manipulation, prosthetics, and robotic end effectors for larger systems. The teleoperation of robotic hands is another application with significant potential, where users can control a manipulator in real time to accomplish diverse tasks. In controlling a device that seeks to emulate the function of the human hand, it is intuitive to choose a human-machine interface (HMI) that will allow for the most intuitive control. Data gloves are the ideal HMI for this need, allowing a robotic hand to accurately mimic the human operator's natural movements. In this paper we present a combined review on the critical design aspects of data gloves and robotic hands. In literature, many of the proposed designs covering both these topical areas, robotic hand and data gloves, are cost prohibitive which limits their implementation for intended tasks. After reviewing the literature, new designs of robotic hand and data glove technology are also presented, introducing low cost solutions that can serve as accessible platforms for researchers, students, and engineers to further the development of teleoperative applications.

humanoid, anthropomorphic, hand, mechatronics, rapid prototyped, manipulation, data glove, human-machine interfaces, piezoluminescence